This week I had a gulp moment, that blindsided me a little. Frankly, the fact that two of my kids are grown up and mostly out the door (one is way out the door, the other still has dirty laundry in his closet, AKA foot in the door), and my youngest will be a senior in high school next year, is not surprising anymore. There are still moments that sting, or are a little unexpected, but mostly I get it. I get it. It’s still an adjustment, but I’m not struggling to figure out what’s the what. Well… until I went to buy girl scout cookies.
Yep, those annual treats that appear at the entrance to every grocery store, business, or mall, all over town. Cute little girl scouts calling out to me as I walk by, and I’m as sucker for Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tresfoils… Well actually, that’s the problem: I don’t actually eat them. My kids do. My kids… did. Middle Man loves them, so I’ve sent them to him at school, and stored them away for when he comes home. I buy the Thin Mints and stock our freezer; they last forever, and are best frozen anyway! Little Man loves them too, but isn’t quite as gung ho as his big brother. Bottom line though, is that I buy piles of cookies each year for Smart Guy and my boys (Prinicipessa is Gluten Free).
But there I stood, counting out boxes, when I suddenly realized I’d have to ship these babies to China. Last week when I sent a letter to Middle Man, standard postage (2+weeks) was $1.47. I was told that if I’d like to send it Priority, to get it there in 7-10 days, it would be $24. Hello? What the hell would a couple boxes of cookies cost me! It was too late, those sweet little girl scouts were all pumped up and excited that this lady was buying (gulp) 24 boxes of cookies (Look, we freeze them!). I couldn’t exactly put them back.
“Wow, you’re our best customer!” One of the little doe eyed sweeties, with a sash exclaimed. Yep, I’ve made a lot of girl scouts happy, at cookie time. They all hopped around, counting boxes, totaling the purchase, looking adorable. And then one of them looked at me, with a sweet little face and said: “What happened to all of your other girl scouts?” Three little faces watched me; the mom who was manning the cookie table with them, smiling and waiting for an answer… and I choked. I actually choked right up. I thought of my daughter and her friends, I thought of my friends’ daughters over the years, my niece, and my cousin’s kids, and I got all blurry eyed. Um, all my favorite girl scouts grew up, and don’t sell cookies anymore, I managed to say. The other mom looked at me, sympathetically, and the girls handed me my big box of cookies. “We can be your girl scouts,” the smallest one said. Ok, see you next year! I smiled, took my cookies and left.
As I drove away, it really hit me. Not only are my kids grown, so many of the kids I’ve been involved with, that I’ve loved, have grown up. No little girls calling me to buy cookies. No kids trying to sell me magazines at the annual middle school fundraiser. They’ve all grown up. The little kids I know now, are really little… and belong to much younger friends, who could practically be my kids! Realistically, it’s quite likely that the next real bond I have with a girl scout, will be with my own grandchildren. Shudder.
This aging thing is tough business. It’s not bad enough that when I look in the mirror each day, I hardly recognize myself, or that my knees hurt. It’s not bad enough that almost all of the kids I’ve thought of as cute and little for so long, are in at least Middle School, if not high school. It’s not bad enough that I have 24 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and I’m avoiding carbs! It’s not bad enough that two of my kids are thousands of miles and several time zones away. Individually, none of these things would do me in. None of them is bad enough on their own, but all together, it adds up to one big, fat sucky dose of reality. Thank goodness Girl Scout cookie time is almost over. I can’t deal with all those cute, little cookie monsters right now.
As I adjust to all these changes, and the constant reminders of them, it’s all about baby steps. Some days are good, some days not so much. For now, I’ll freeze some; maybe I’ll eat a few of them, and I’ll be in better shape next year to deal with all of it… cookie.
Do you like Girl Scout Cookies? What’s your favorite, and why? Got a favorite Girl Scout, who knocks on your door each year? Or have all your Girl Scouts grown up too? Leave a comment; hit the Like; bring it on.