Like the annual migration of Baltimore Orioles through my woodland back yard, or the emerging pink nubs from my yearly rhubarb plants, so marks the passage on time when the neighborhood girl scout rings my door bell (well actually my door bell hasn't worked in years. I had it disconnected because it made my dog go Tasmanian Devil on me) and, unfolding her multipage form like an uncooperative broadsheet newspaper, shows me her newest offerings from the pastry kitchens of the Girl Scouts of America.
I always buy something and not just because I used to be a Brownie and a Girl Scout, but because I like to support kids when they are honing their entrepreneurial skills. I prod them through their spiel, acting interested in whatever they've been encouraged to pitch, making them appreciative of this early media training with key messages that later could become their life's work, if they are good on camera or on stage, or even just give good phone.
Then we decipher how to fill out the form and help them close the deal, the real reason they are there in my home. But this year is was different. I got an email from a mom/girlfriend, stating that her daughter typed this herself with no help, offering to sell me my annual fix of girl scout cookies. It went like this:
I am selling girl scout cookies for my Brownie troop. can you help me. Thay are fore dollars a box. These are the kind I have Caramel delites Peanu butter patties Shortbread Thin mints Peanut butter sandwich
Thanks a lot Lemonades and Reduced fat daisy go rounds.
Thank you for helping me!
PS. I did not help XXXXX (insert the mom's name here) with this. She typed it herself. We were suppose to go door to door but it has been way too cold. Now our time is up ~ all orders are due Monday morning! Thanks everyone! XXXXX
Of course I hit reply and ordered some, but not as many as I usually do, times being what they are. The cookies arrived yesterday, delivered by the actual little girl, not a cyber version bearing virtual cookies. We wrote the check and started the hoarding, hiding and rationing. These are precious, you know, and we must make them last.
Last year we went the more traditional route when our neighbor Sarah came by to sell us some, and my 11-year-old son sat down at the negotiating table with us and helped determine the quantities and types. I like to teach my children consumer skills early. So he helped place the order, filled out the form, etc.
Later that year, my husband and I were at the therapist to improve our parenting skills and to learn to work more as a team (seems to be the mantra of modern parents, but that's another article) and he was trying to show her how I indulge our children. The example he conjured up was this time I let our son help order the girl scout cookies. She said, "Tell me about what happened." My husband reported that I bought a reasonable amount of cookies for the family but I let our son buy 10 boxes of his own with his own money (if case you're wondering what some kids do with their allowance) and stash them in his bedroom closet for his personal rationing! She looked at me scoffingly, shaking her head, and in my defense I blurted out, "But they were Thin Mints!" Suddenly she gave a look of understanding, nodding her head in approval and said, "Oooooooh, well if they were thin mints . . ."
I guess I'm not the only one in love with those cookies.