I have been so busy lately. We've all been so busy. So busy, in fact, that we have run completely out of eggs (a staple for Laurel's breakfast), Apple Jacks (a staple for Ethan's) and dishwasher detergent (a staple for all of us, because we hate washing dishes by hand).
We've been so busy with work, school, and parenting that I spent much of this week dreading today's arrival, knowing I would have to rise early (not a problem) and venture out into the chill of the morning (problem) to stand on a busy street corner hawking papers once more for Old Newsboys Day. Add to that the fact that just like last year, Mother Nature chose today to bring a cold front through, and you can understand my groaning.
However, I made a promise. I made a promise to the organization, sure, but more important is the promise I made to Laurel. Last night she decided to accompany me on my 3-hour adventure this year. She cared not that she would be up one hour early (of course) and even volunteered to retire to bed at 7:30 last night and (gasp!) tonight, even though tonight is 'Survivor' night and she never misses 'Survivor.'
It was that important to her.
Last night, we made all the arrangements we could, laying out warm clothes and shoes, pre-packing her backpack for school in the morning so Greg could just grab it on his way out the door to pick her up from the street corner. This morning I tucked a granola bar in a small pocket of her backpack so she would have something to eat on her way to school, and I gave another to her to eat before we left.
I had a pair of gloves, but she could only find one of her gloves, and then she forgot it on the kitchen table as we left.
We unloaded ourselves and ran to the median of the 4-lane highway at the stoplight where we hawked papers. Laurel was a real trouper. She learned the ropes quickly and probably even managed to get some folks to open their wallets who wouldn't have just for me. There's something about an 8-year-old standing on a street corner in November trying to make a buck for children's charities that gets you, I guess.
Each time the light turned red, she'd start down the median, selling one paper at a time, wishing everyone Happy Thanksgiving. She could only carry one because the kid had no gloves, her hands were too small for mine, and her fingers were numb. I followed her down the median, picking up anybody who flagged us while she was with someone else and replenishing Laurel's papers. If she had an unsuccessful run she would shrug it off, but after 2 or 3 unsuccessful ones in a row, she suggested we tell people they would be stuck at the red light 'for all eternity' if they didn't buy a paper.
The time flew by when Laurel was there with me, but dragged after Greg picked her up at 8 for school.
We haven't counted up the donations yet, we'll do that tonight after Laurel's home from school and will report back here. One very generous lady gave Laurel $20.
One thing is certain: no matter how much cash we managed to scrape together for Old Newsboys Day, this morning with my daughter gave me much, much more.