Monday, January 18, 2010

Sadness cookies.

If every other post on Facebook wall is an indication? It's Girl Scout Cookie Time.

I ordered five boxes from my friend CPA Mom. She's helped me a million times and I'm glad I could (slightly) return the favor. I bought the Thin Mints, because I hate them but everyone else I live with loves them. I bought a box of the new ones, just to see what they are like. I'm sure we will be accosted outside Kroger when the cookies come in. Little girls with their little boxes asking us to buy cookies which are overpriced, but so good. We'll buy more, when they ask. At least Jason will...I never carry cash.

It's good. I love Girl Scouts, I always have.

But I'll be sad. Because being a Girl Scout leader? Was pretty much one of the biggest failures of my life.

I know that sounds dramatic and maybe even silly. I went into it with a tons of goals and ideas and a great deal of love and respect for the organization. I came out of it sad and discouraged. I had to call CPS on a family. Another one of the mothers stole over $250 of products (not the cookies, but the nuts we sold in the fall), got the money for it, moved and cut off her phone. I honest to God couldn't believe that anyone would ever steal from little girls, but I was pretty painfully proven wrong.

The girls said things to me that floored me. They told me about their parents fights, they told me about things that went on that were so shocking that I would sometimes cry at night. They called people retards and the n-word and used gay as a slur. They were surprised when I corrected them.

I came to a point that the thought of having to deal with this any longer was more of a burden than any of the goodness that any of us would potentially get out of it.

I quit.

I couldn't handle it, I'm ashamed to say. I couldn't fix them. I couldn't make them better. The two or three hours a month I spent with these girls could not undo everything else going on in their world. No matter how hard I tried and no matter how bad I wanted it.

I know I tried and I know trying is more than some of the girls have ever had. But it's still a failure.

Because trying wasn't enough.

8 comments:

CPA Mom said...

not a failure. NOT. You gave them a good example of HOW to live a good life for a year. Who knows how much that affected them (think of teachers who hear from kids later about how that one year with them changed their lives). You gave it your best! You stepped up when so many never do.

(thanks for the order too. I'm always buy the cookies and Boy Scout popcorn every time I see them outside a store. Been there, done that. I'm loving this cookies for the troops option this year for people who don't want cookies but want to buy)

NinjaMom said...

You beautiful woman, you. I came from an abusive, dysfunctional family and I can assure you, that it was people like yourself who showed me that life didn't have to meander in the negative direction I was stuck in. There were various people in my childhood who taught me patience and kindness, even in the briefest of encounters.

Please don't doubt that you had an impact, because I know that you did.

I'm a little busy at the moment or I'd track you down and give you a such a big hug that your bones would crack.

As it is, know that you are one amazing special lady. In a way, I'm glad that you're not achieving all of your goals. If you did, the stars would have to move over to give you more room to shine.

Shine on, sister!

Sonia

mythoughtsonthat said...

I live in a kind of tough area and work at the local elementary school. I, too, have been saddened and discouraged by the stories kids tell me on a daily basis. I was also scoffed at (by administration!) for pointing out what looked exactly like a cigarette burn on a boy's forehead. I've learned though that even short encounters with these kids help and influence them. You DID make a difference in your short time with these girls. And that? Could never be a fail. Peace.

Kathy said...

You are not the failure here...Never.Ever.Feel.That.Way!!!

Priscilla said...

FYI it's the same with Boy Scouts, Little League and Pop Warner. I just couldn't do it anymore. I'm glad I volunteered though, because if I hadn't I'd have never known what my precious boys were being exposed to.

SJ said...

Oh you aren't a failure, if anything you taught them all valuable lessons that they will use one day in their lives. No doubt about it - they'll remember you for sure.

I haven't had the pleasure to buy cookies yet, I haven't had a girl scout come by my house. Which might be a good thing - while I do enjoy helping a good cause, I really don't need the darn cookies. I can't ever say no though, when I'm approached, I'll buy, no doubt.

xoxo

M said...

Cod for some reason this makes me cry. I remember the turmoil and difficulties and absolute agony while you were a leader.

And you were a WONDERFUL leader.

You didn't fail. Not by a longshot.

You put more of you into these girls lives than many of the people IN their lives do. You tried more than MOST people would. You hurt yourself and kept going. You did more than what was called for and them some.

You? Are so a winner in thsi department. By knowing that it wasn't right for you to continue in the role of a girlscout leader. By being an example to your children that it's okay to try something and then decide it isn't right. To put yourself first.

Those lessons are even more important than the theoretical ones you could have taught. xoxo

diane rene said...

the only way you could possibly have failed, is if you walked away from the experience as less of a person than you were.
regardless of what you may or may not have left them with, what did YOU leave with?
sure, you were blind-sided by the harshness of reality, but what did you learn? did it make you appreciate the little things more? did it make you look at the way you talk to and in front of your own children? did it make you more aware of the little girl sitting alone while a group of other girls laughed and played? and what will you do with all this?
if your answer is nothing, than I'll back your being a failure. but I don't see that in you.