Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Different Kind of Pumpkin

When I was seven, I was a Brownie. I was the proudest beanie-wearing girl in our whole apartment complex. And I couldn't wait to be a Girl Scout! At the end of my Brownie tenure, I remember the Flying Up ceremony where we walked beside the "reflection pool" (a large piece of mirrored glass on the floor) and said some magical words that were going to turn me into a "Girl in Green." I spent hours dreaming of those badges accumulating on the sash (could you get a better adornment for a child bursting with OCD tendencies than multi-colored, same-sized badges lined up neatly in rows?!) We saved and saved, and I could picture the whole outfit right down to the green socks with the tiny gold emblem...

Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out the way it does in a little girl's dreams. The Brownie leader ran off with the funds (I think today that might be called theft!) and my family didn't have the resources to pay twice for dues and pins and little green socks.

For decades I have admired Girl Scouts...and funded more than a few chapters through hundreds of boxes of Thin Mints that have never helped with my diet. These days, I rarely have Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts in my classes, and it has been ages since I have seen the tell-tale badges or socks.

So I was surprised to learn that this year I have four Girl Scouts in sixth grade and they are all fabulous kids. These girls have already been involved in several activities and projects, and this week I was the recipient of some of their efforts.

When you work at the same school for almost thirty years, everyone knows a lot about you, so I wasn't completely to be greeted by four pumpkins lined up on the table.

But these pumpkins were painted PINK. And they sparkled with glitter and ribbon. Three remain at school, but I snuck one out of my classroom to have at home.

Beautiful, yes? My mom was a breast cancer survivor for many years. And my sister reflects strength and courage daily as she celebrates over ten years as a Pink Ribbon Wearer. What a wonderful way for this group of aspiring leaders to combine holiday fun, community outreach, service to others and LOVE.

So, on this day, in addition to admiring ghosts and goblins, and eating more than my fair share of Kit Kats, I send up a wish and a prayer for all of those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer... for those who have battled the disease and for those who have supported them.

And I smile at the fact that although I still wish to have been one of those Girls in Green... I can also delight in the good thoughts and works of those four Girl Scouts who will be smiling back at me today...


  1. I was a Brownie too! My sad story is that, the first year I was a Brownie, we couldn't afford a whole uniform. I was the only kid who just had the shirt part of the uniform (a hand-me-down from a neighbor,) regular tan pants, and the sash with badges on it! I wish more kids still did Scouting.

  2. That's beautiful, Kim! How sweet of those girls. We wanted to sign Elizabeth up for girl guides this year (she would've LOVED it), but it conflicted with her soccer schedule. Hoping we get the opportunity next year.

    Runde's Room

  3. Thanks Kim, I'm an almost 10 year breast cancer survivor, and your post was very heartwarming.


  4. What a thoughtful thing for your students to do :). My mom is also a survivor :)


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