There are those who look back and remember all the hurts, problems, and pain…others who choose to remember the goodness…and others who remember nothing at all. I like to remember the goodness. I do not forget the hurt, I just file it further in the back.
When my daughter was in Kindergarten a flyer came home in her backpack. This was back in the days where “being green” was a reference to Kermit the Frog and there was no such thing as communicating via email. Be A Daisy! For those not in the know…a Daisy is the lowest rung on the Girl Scout ladder. A place for fun and exploration, where girls learned to be strong and self assured. Learn to camp, craft, and do good deeds for others in a supportive group setting! Well that sounded fantastic, sign her up! Catch, they needed leaders, of course there was a catch. I worked full time, was class mom for two of my two children, and taught Sunday school, there was no time for another commitment…not happening.
So that is how I became a co-leader of a Daisy troop.
Walking 12 tiny, squeaky, brightly dressed little pipsqueaks from the school to the meeting used to stop traffic. It was the human equivalent of Make Way for Ducklings. We quickly learned that we were not the camping and whittling wood while sitting in dirt type of troop…we put on plays, did crafts, baked, hosted events, learned art history, participated in singalongs, had professional women come speak, and did service project after service project. No Veteran in our town was without a card or candy dish. No service people overseas without a Valentine or bag of travel size toiletries. No woman with breast cancer in need of a cozy pillow to rest on. We were doers.
Remember the good.
There was plenty of drama, girls left, new girls came in. Some girls strutting their stuff and others not sure of who they would become. Times were tough, teenagers are tortured souls…but as long as my daughter wanted me there, I was there. We stuck it out. We started with 12 in kindergarten and ended with 13 by senior year in high school…with a total of 23 different girls coming in and out. Four girls, who had been involved since day one achieved Gold Awards. Remember the good.
Miss Kat…I just received a thank you note from a local troop addressed to Miss Kat. The leaders knew my husband and I had been involved in a community scavenger hunt and asked for some advice. My advice…oh can I please do it for you? I love planning, I love events, I love that I will not have to actually be there. Please! Creating the clues, the searches, the box of props (essential when the hunters are tween girls with cell phones)…such joy.
Joy. I became Miss Kat on a yellow school bus heading into Manhattan for a Girl Scout overnight…sleeping under the 94 foot blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History…my kind of camping. The girls were beside themselves with glee, Kat can we do…Kat when will we…Kat…Kat…Kat, when the head of the local council whipped her head around and glared at me, “are they calling you…KAT?” Oops, in trouble with council again. I was really not into the militant aspect of scouting so I had become known as “that woman” in council headquarters. Now I was really in trouble. Yes, I don’t really go by Mrs Nemec, there is someone who already has that name, she is 78 and lives in Iowa. That is where I learned being called by my name was not ok…the girls would need to call me Miss Kat.
Deal, and if I am being honest, I could not love being called Miss Kat any more than I do. To this day, if I run into any of my girls, who are now working adults…I am Miss Kat, emphasis on the Miss. An inside joke that brings us right back to being on that bus, and sleeping under that whale, and remembering the good from a very difficult age.