I was going to start this post off with some drivel about resolutions not made or made and broken, but instead I’ll cut to the chase:
I ditched two Girl Scout cookie meetings this week, and I couldn’t feel better about my decision.
I have a real love/hate thing going with the Brownies, and now, to a lesser extent, the Daisies, which Sophie joined this school year. (Part of this has to do with jealousy — as a kid, I was forced to be a Camp Fire Girl, which was NOT cool. So while I hate joining anything, I find myself drawn to this god-fearing, pledge-loving club.)
Daisies are junior Brownies and Brownies are junior Girl Scouts, but guess what — they’re all qualified to sell cookies.
After noticing that I’m noticing my butt way too much (I blame the half-marathon training, more on that later), I’ve sworn that no Girl Scout cookies can come into the house this year. Of course that’s one of those resolutions/promises/threats made to be broken.
And yes, we’ll sell the damn cookies.
But I just didn’t want to go to the meetings. It’s the first week back to school and work, and it’s a nightmare. More and more lately, I’ve found that I spend my downtime beating myself up for being a. a Bad Mom and b. a Bad Employee (we’ll leave Bad Wife, Bad Friend, Bad Daughter, Bad Sister, Bad Daughter in Law and all-around Bad Person for later).
This is nothing new. I actually wrote a column called “Bad Mom” for a while, for a now-somewhat-defunct site, www.austinmama.com. But it’s been intensified, due to the Bad Employee thing, which is due to the media-industry-is-collapsing-how-long-will-I-have-a-job-I-better-step-it-up-thing.
And so I’m poking the broom in the corners, trying to sweep out any extra crumbs of time I can find to toss at family and then at work.
Sitting through a NINETY MINUTE, ALL-ADULT, GIRL SCOUT COOKIE MEETING at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon (meaning I’d be missing both work and kids) just didn’t fit into the new plan. Last year, I would have (and if memory serves, did) lemming-ed it. But not this year, solidifying, I fear, my already not so great relationship with the very nice Brownie leader, who still hasn’t answered the email I sent to complain — but did reconfigure the meeting. (Apparently I wasn’t alone.)
In any case, we ditched Brownies altogether yesterday (I also skipped the 30 minute parent only Daisy meeting earlier this week) and I took the girls out for gelato. Just us, just the three of us, no others invited along — rare for us, I usually multi-task and make an outing a play date or a work meeting or an extended family get-together.
Just the three of us. Just for an hour, but still.
It was great.
On the way, Annabelle piped up from the back seat. Normally, she doesn’t say much about what goes on at school. This worried me til I compared notes with other parents; it’s pretty universal. And she rarely talks about Sophie in THAT way; I’m pretty sure I’d never heard her say the words Down syndrome — til yesterday.
Yesterday, Annabelle said, out of the blue, “Mommy, I feel really special at school.”
“Why?” I asked, wondering if a new pink Nintendo DS is really all that.
“Because Sophie has Down syndrome and the kids ask me lots of questions.”
She said this with the happy chirp one would use to annouce 100% on a spelling test, or joy over a new pair of shoes.
OK, I thought to myself, maybe — at least in the grand scheme — I’m doing something right.
I wish I had it on tape to play for the principal, during our inevitable, upcoming battles.