"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

True Confessions of a Mean Mother

I have never bought a girl scout cookie from an actual girl scout. Once upon a time, when my kids were little and only one or two of my friends had kids of scouting, schooling, selling random stuff, age, I thought I would simply require that the kids be the ones to ask me to buy something. I really don't have an easy time saying no to kids anyway.

But then the actual phone calls started coming. I failed to insist that the kids make the calls. I realized that to do so required correcting the adults. No, I'm not interested in you selling me gift wrap on behalf of your kid. So if its girl scout cookies, I buy. If not, I tend to think of a reason to just say no (or ignore an email! Email! not even a phone call) and not buy whatever some poor parent is trying to sell me. Frankly, I don't care about you kid's school fundraiser. I may care about your kid, but since your kid isn't actually the one asking me...

My kids are homeschooled, and one of the things I've always liked about it is not selling overpriced garbage that nobody needs. And so, in fourteen years of parenting, we have, this week, encountered our first peer-pressure enforced fundraiser. For 4H. Bunny Club. At least they're only selling those $1 candy bars that actually are pretty good.

Nathaniel was the one assigned with selling these things, since he's the bunny boy. My husband's first response: "I'll take them to work."

No way, no how. I love my husband, but I shut him down hard on that one. He knew I was right, too. No way were we selling those candies for our kid. He was the one who wanted to be in bunny club, he can sell the candies. I bought my obligatory parental allotment of three bars. (One for the kids to share, one for my purse, one for my desk drawer.)

The next day, I took my younger two to the local "splash pad" (a sprinkler park). Middle boy was armed (and actually eager) with his candy bars. No splashing for him until he'd worked the crowd. We set some rules (stay where I can see you, don't approach anyone with little kids nearby (we moms have to stick together and I don't want to start some kid on an "I want one" whine) and remember your manners. I watched from a distance as my little redhead chatted up every single person at the splash pad. When he came back, he had two bars left. My friend bought one, I bought the last one for his little brother. Sold out and off to splash!

My kid was so proud of himself! He had exercised a new social skill (not like this kid is lacking, he's my chatty one) and found himself successful. And while other parents may cry stranger danger, my kid had no irrational fears and was never at risk. He earned his bunny money.

And while you won't find me signing up for any fundraisers any time soon, I'm thankful I didn't rob my child of the opportunity to try on a new role and succeed. And I may still buy a box of girl scout cookies from a 45 year old mommy, but unless your kid calls me himself, you can keep your gift wrap catalogues, candies, and entertainment books.

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