I have spent a lot of time hearing, “Hello, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” this month.
Our daughter Madz has a goal to sell as many as Girl Scout cookies as she can. Okay, technically, she wants to sell 2,000, but I’ve curbed that number to, whatever we can manage.
But, she sells, not me.
I am transportation, management, supply and training. She’s the sales force.
I know some parents find it easier to just take the sheet or cookies to work/church and sell for their daughter.
Yeah, that would take less time and energy. And I wouldn’t have spent countless hours during the weekends sitting outside of businesses or in my car while she asked, “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”
And I probably wouldn’t have to sit by this smelly trash can.
But while sit here with the wafting remains of whatever that is, she’s getting told:
“No, thank you.”
“Yes, when I leave.”
“Do you have…”
Some people are really nice and reaffirm much of what I love about living here. Others, well, they probably had a bad day and deserve some grace. Even if it is hard for me to give them.
But, I’ve learned it’s not about the cookies.
Here’s what it’s really about:
Watching your daughter learn to make change and having them count it back to her customer.
Watching her ask for an additional sale when someone hands her a $10 or $20, and have the people actually agree to her sales tactic.
Helping her learn to visit with someone with a disability.
Watching her organize.
Interacting with her as she asks me to do a specific task to help her organize.
Watching her interact and learn to make small talk.
Watching her learn to multi-task as she restocks her table and sells cookies.
Helping her meet people who are different and who have different life stories.
Helping her respond positively, no matter what she’s heard in response to her request.
Hearing her answer questions posed to her.
The real truth:
It’s about spending countless hours with your girl, watching her grow and mature.
That’s my take-away.
So, yes, it’s easier for me to do it. But, what would we both miss if I did?
And, besides, who’d smell this trash? 😉
I have precious few moments in my day; however, I have enough to do what I’ve signed up to do. Except when I out-think myself.
After John Alan’s hugely successful Pirate Party, I planned on posting all sorts of pictures of the event. It was a cute party. He had a tremendous amount of fun.
I sat down to look at some of the pics, but instead started messing with the settings on my Canon. In doing so, (wait for it…..)
I. FORMATTED. THE. CARD.
In essence, I think I lost all of the pictures.
The treasure dig.
The inflatable-sword fight.
Hopefully, I can figure out how to retrieve them, but I honestly had to back away from the camera. For fear of losing it.
Consoling words are appreciated.
I turned on the television today after getting the boys down for their nap and the first thing I see is this…
If you watch the replay, it genuinely looks like the ball got away from Samardzija.
Sure. Konerko hit a two run homer off of Samardzija in a previous inning, but…
But, just a few innings later Sox pitcher Humber threw a ball behind Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair. It looked like the ball was intended for LaHair’s head. He ducked it and the ball sailed over his head. The umpire warned both benches.
After the Cubs lost (boo) Samardzija made sure folks knew he wasn’t throwing at Konerko. However, you don’t need a news report to know the pitch by Humber was intentional.
Typically, I’m all for baseball, getting even and the like, but Humber’s pitch was around the head.
Last year, Marlon Byrd took a pitch in the face at Fenway. He was out most of the year, but, the pitch wasn’t intentional. Pitches sometimes get away from pitchers. I fact, Byrd is now playing for Boston.
The point is, baseball isn’t real life. Last time I checked, I couldn’t throw a 90 mile an hour at my boss’ head when I’m pissed. So, let’s keep it nice out there boys. If you’ve got to get even, throw at the guy’s butt. Everyone’s safer.
God gave me 168 hours this week to do something incredible. Man took one of them away (but I’m not bitter) – so, what will I do with 167 hours of pure awesomeness?
Hmmm – I’m not quite sure.
Today, while standing in line at the bank with three kids, a women asked (looking at my two boys who were trying to sit still on the floor), “How far a part are they?”
(SIDE NOTE: You do the math and then think about if I really planned that. Worst question ever.)
“Mine are 18 months.”
“Yeah, that makes it tough.”
“Almost like having twins.”
Yeah, but not really. Because you see, this chaos is different. Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that twins are difficult. A dear friend of mine has twins. And watching her and her husband raise them (when they were little) was mind-boggling (especially since I didn’t have kids then). Jay and I would watch them while Mom and Dad would go catch dinner and a movie. We really tried to follow the directions, but somehow, one of the twins always feel asleep before they were supposed to! 🙂
But you see, our chaos is having two little ones so close but also so far apart.
Let me see if I can explain.
John Alan can push himself in his ‘Fred Flintstone’ powered car. Reed, however, can’t. He gets the brake principle (especially when I’m pushing him).
John Alan is learning how to express himself through words (and seeing how it pays off). Reed is just learning to address himself as ‘Ree’. BTW – cutest thing ever.
John Alan can run. Reed can’t.
John Alan sleeps in a toddler bed. Reed sleeps in a crib. (TRANSLATION: John Alan can get out of bed when he’s ready. Reed can’t. However, John can get in Reed’s bed if he wants to.)
But – when you look at them, you’re mind tells you, “They’re not that different. See, look, they’re almost the same height. And look, they both drink and eat by themselves. Diapers? Yep, both of them.”
So, it’s difficult in my parent mind to make sure that I’m feeding both of their curiosity levels adequately. I try to acknowledge their unique character, but at the same time keep a lid on the level of chaos that surrounds us all.
Today, for example, I had John Alan sit on a tree limb so I could watch him as I unloaded Madeline and Reed. (If you haven’t tried to run errands with three kids, two of them two years and 21 months, try it.) On our way back into the car, I had John Alan repeat the process from earlier, only Reed threw a fit! He wanted to be the big boy and sit on the tree limb! It just seems that I never know what each boy wants to accomplish and what they need to do. It’s in these times that I wish I had three separate bodies to be three separate mommies to each kid. Or, if I could just have several more hands – that might work.
So, I don’t know if I can, but I will do my best to find some time in the chaos to think about who these little people are – and how I can best help cultivate their independent spirit. In Psalms 139, David talks about how God knows everything and how he created me and each of my children. He knew us the instant we were conceived. Not only that, he knew every step we’d take, every word we’d write, every breath. And guess what? He still likes us! So, from the moment I was created, God knew that today would come. He knew that I would struggle to be a decent mom to two very small boys. He knew that I would wonder if I was parenting my daughter correctly. But, it’s in this chaos, that I get to spend my 168 hours. Living, laughing, loving!
So give us some room. There’s a whole lot of us Milleson’s coming through. We’re always the loudest. Always the weirdest. But always the funnest!