A friend sent me one of those pass along emails recently. It was called ‘Parenting Description’ and set up like a classified ad for a job. It was pretty funny, listing things like, “Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed,” and, “Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next,” and “Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.”
I was surprised they left out “Parents must buy not only from every fundraiser that their child participates in, but from all the children of every friend and neighbor who buys from your child!”
Recently Brittany called, asking if she could have my Christmas card list. Doubting that she was going to surprise me with writing all my cards this year, I asked her what she planned to do with it. She said she needed to send out fifty letters asking people to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is her sorority’s philanthropy.
I told her I thought that it was a good cause, but I didn’t really like the idea of her using my list of friends to ask money from. She told me all about the St. Jude video she saw: how they never charge people who can’t afford care, how they take the little bald children with cancer from one appointment to another in little wagons and have toys everywhere to get the kids’ minds off being so sick. How it made her cry.
So I scanned two random pages from our church directory and emailed it to her saying, “Here’s 110 names, have at it.”
When Brittany first started selling Girl Scout cookies I had no idea that selling would be so much a part of her life. And buying so much a part of mine. After the cookies came cookie dough, fruit, magazines, wrapping paper, car washes and raffle tickets.
As they get older it just got more expensive. Letters started coming from kids going on mission trips, internships and studying in other states and countries -- and they needed funding.
I really thought that we would be done with that in college, but apparently not. In fact I’ve seen the writing on the wall that it may never be over. One of her friends graduated this summer and is now selling BMWs in Raleigh.
He’s already called.
Photo Credit: steventom.
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