Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Girl Scout Cookies February 23, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season, when aunts and uncles around the world break out their checkbooks and overspend on “treats” that taste like cardboard.

I am more than happy to support the Girl Scouts, an organization that broadened the horizons of my childhood and that I think has done a great job of growing with the times. (Girls now work for badges that encourage them to learn about stress management and career options, leaps forward from the housewifery badges I earned back in the day.) But, oy, between my husband and me, we have seven nieces of Girl Scouting age, plus the daughters of friends and colleagues, plus those sweet little things who hang out in front of the grocery store. At $4 a box, for cookies I don’t even eat (they go straight to the break room at my husband’s office), that adds up!

So I have to give a shout out to my brilliant sister-in-law who came up with a new plan this year. Instead of getting sales pitches from each of the four girls in her family, they’re on a rotation plan. This year the oldest niece is hitting us up; next year, niece #3 gets her shot at sweet-talking us into contributing, and so on. I love it! I’ve already placed my order and mailed my check.

As always, I cheerfully support the fund-raising efforts of the kids in our lives, from the walk-a-thons to the wrapping paper drives to the raffles. And I am especially grateful that the parents in our family are opening their eyes and not taking undue advantage of us. Wouldn’t it be nice if all parents could be more sensitive to their childfree friends and family members when asking us to contribute to the rearing of their children?

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’ll be baking real shortbread cookies this weekend.

Editor’s Note: Did you know that the founder of the Girl Scouts never had children of her own? More about her tomorrow.