Monday, January 23, 2012

And Now They are All Crying

Mondays are Girl Scout days around here.  We spend most of the day prepping for Scouts, and then we have meetings at 4pm.  Even dinner revolves on Scouts on Monday, because I generally go for the crock pot so that we are ready to go as soon as the last girl leaves.
Today, was supposed to be just another meeting.  We were to focus on our cookie goals.  The whole cookie process, much as I loathe it, is designed to be a teaching tool for the girls.  The money they earn is to be ear marked for both community service and fun stuff.  So, before the season starts, we pick a community service project that we will be spending our proceeds on.  I take suggestions from the girls, and then see which ones are actually feasible (we physically build houses for people that don't have any, not right now anyway) and then they get to vote on them and decide for themselves what to do.  I love that part of everything, and it is probably one of the only reasons I actually go through with all this.
To get to all those great ideas, though, requires a lot of thought and work from the girls.  They have to identify who they want to help, and how.  Can we do it?  We will we have the money?
The fist thing we do is have a brainstorming session.  I go round and round, asking each girl for a new idea until they just run out.  Then ,we go through the list.  Tonight's idea's were interesting.  We had a huge discussion about buying goats for families in Africa.  The next idea was much more tame.  Someone wanted to do something to help the deployed troops.  Very nice.  One little girl, the only one in my entire troop not from a military family, raised her hand and ask what that meant.  I ask the girls who could explain it to her.  Every other hand shot up.  Since her father is actually deployed at this moment, I let The Big One explain.  She got about one sentence out before she broke down.  I believe all she said was "Sometimes, Dads have to leave to...." That was it.  That was all she could say.  She was sobbing nearly instantly.
The girl who ask looked shocked.  She didn't understand.
Since we were all sitting together on the floor, I schooched over to The Big One, put my arms around her, petting her head, and told the other little girl that sometimes, moms and dads have to leave.  They have to travel around the world to fight for our nation, to keep us safe, and do lots of important jobs.  Its hard when they do, because we miss them so much, but they have to go to keep us all safe.  They will come back as soon as they can, though.  Then, I leaned in and whispered to The Big One that we are almost done.  He will be home soon.  I just repeated that and petted her.
I looked up, and everyone else was in tears.  Her best friend, who's father just came home a few weeks ago, was sitting in her own mother's lap, crying.  Her mom just happened to be the parent there tonight to stay as the second adult.  The mom had tears in her eyes.  I look beside me, and the other two military girls are also about to cry.  The Big One couldn't calm down.
So, I just stopped the meeting.  We were going to try the new flavor of cookie, and a few others just for a refresher, anyway, and that was that. I made them wash hands, line up, and move rooms.
Change the scene and the focus immediately.
Having a troop of little girls who's fathers may leave at any time isn't easy.  They all share the pain.  Being a military child in general is such a hard life.  They didn't choose this life.  We, as parents, chose it for them.  So, we have to be there, and try our best, to comfort them, and help them through the path we chose for them.  I will always do my best to comfort my own, and any of them who are heart broken, with cookies, or hugs, or what ever it takes.
We will hope for a better meeting next week. Hopefully, we can focus on our goals, or start working on our badge, but if we are in need, I know where I can get some more cookies.