We had planned on attending the Walden Family Reunion on Labor Day weekend. Or at least I was. Soon it was narrowed down to only Biff, Jenna and I as Roland said he would be working and although Randy had made arrangements to get time off from his previous job, he recently started another job which he would be working sometime during Labor Day weekend (though I think he could have gone to part of the reunion but chose not to I guess)
So Friday Jenna gets in the car with this years fundraiser for the school. $30 for a coupon book – or the idea of a coupon book with an actual card that you will use instead of the coupons? It looks like a catalog of jumbled ideas thrown together and is actually harder to go through than sorting out the thoughts in my head (and that is saying A LOT!)
Jenna gets upset about every fundraiser – not for the same reasons that I get upset – never mind that no one we know has any money and that every other school is having a fundraiser as well. No one should feel a sense of pressure – though Jenna seems to more with every passing year.
I don’t even know what the incentive is for “selling” the merchandise – usually something not that great – though there was the drawing for an IPod that one year – and she was the winner. I told her that it is highly doubtful that she will win every year.
And I don’t try to discourage her from going out and selling if that’s truly what she wants to do. But she needs to take daddy who is a salesman by nature and who can help her understand the rejection. Our neighborhood is definitely NOT the area to promote fund raisers. Half the people I know are either on welfare or barely scraping by. The other half don’t have time to look through a cluttered catalog to see if a $30 investment is really worth the gamble – not to mention just cannot afford each charity associated with the 8-12 schools that the neighborhood children attend.
So then Jenna starts feeling bad because “nobody will buy” even though I have been upfront with her about why they don’t. But a fund raiser shouldn’t make anyone feel put out, or ornery or guilty or any of that. A child should not have to feel the frustration or pain of rejection or look at the fund raiser as a serious assignment. Life is not a contest of earning points for causes that, even though you might believe in them, make the individual who is really trying, feel worthless because he or she doesn’t feel like they’ve been given a fair shake at getting the prizes (wow. That sounds like an analogy for obedience to commandments and having to stay on the outside of the temple instead of getting to see your loved ones marry due to choices made even at the Lord’s will or age – something that can’t be controlled. Ah – but let’s save that for another post. Perhaps Corey may read this and run with it. I hope so. I love reading his blog for the most part. His posts are so eloquently written)
The bishop had gone out of town the two weeks prior, giving Roland the opportunity of playing bishop for the last two Sundays. He received three phone calls about three different deaths – two would hold funerals in our ward building.
On Friday night Roland and I went to the temple and Parker’s mom and dad watched Jenna. Turns out Roland did not work on the last day of August as he had anticipated. He conducted the second of the two funerals and I watched Parker and Jenna – apparently not with a close enough eye.
On Saturday morning we met Parker and his dad at the garden. That evening I packed up the two kids and went over to the trailer park to meet some friends for their monthly game of “Bingo”. Roland went with us once. For the most part he doesn’t seem to enjoy it. And he has been quite tired for the most part. Work and work and no play. No happy balance.
Parker’s dad picked him up before we had even started the first game. Oh, too bad. He was perturbed that he wouldn’t have more time with Jenna. Gee, I’m sorry Parker. Usually nine hours is too long between friends of your age group.
There’s always a lot of laughs and fun with the neighbors on Bingo night. Jenna was the first one to win a prize – a velvet art project for a 3-D castle. Neither Roger nor Gloria wanted their prizes and pawned them off on me. Jenna and I always have to leave before the sun goes down so that I can see to drive home at night.
Sunday morning I turned my phone on – which is unusual. I normally don’t have it on during the weekend. Immediately after I received the signal to let me know that the phone was on and battery ready, Sunny called to see if I had heard about mom. She’s back in the hospital. It was on a Sunday at the beginning of this year.
It was my week to give the lesson is Sunday School but felt inspired to call a substitute at the last minute (and I do last minute – like when Relief Society ended) and took Jenna out of primary and went to the hospital where Patrick was seated in a chair and mom was in bed looking bewildered. As with the first time in January, she had no idea why she was there or how she arrived.
Jenna and I had been there for almost three hours. We left after Patrick and Nate gave her a blessing. Roland had just barely beaten us home.
We were home for only a couple of hours before we left the house and headed toward where Randy and Carrie live. They had invited us for dinner. We were in charge of dessert. We remembered to take the dessert, but we forgot to eat it.
Carrie gave us some peach jam. We forgot to take it home.
Jenna and I will return to the hospital this morning. She wants to give mom the velvet castle she made.