I do not like meetings.
The gathering.The deliberations. The arguments. The duration or dwelling on one particular issue that extends the meeting even further. The need to contribute or say something, anything as long as it casts you in an intelligent light. I do like one aspect of meetings though – the end of it. That part where we all get up, disperse and go on with our individual lives.
I am not keen on group activities either. Three people (I included) can be too much of a crowd for me sometimes and I am content being in the background, the unobtrusive one, looking in. I have no trouble with that.
What I write hereafter should come as no surprise; during all my years of formal school training I was part of no organization – voluntary or otherwise. I didn’t need gatherings or discussions to fill in the perceived spaces of my life. I couldn’t be bothered.
It was different when I entered the workforce. I was obligated to attend meetings that concerned my job function. It was difficult to blend in with the furniture then especially when I had to contribute to the matters discussed or make a presentation to state a case. I still didn’t like meetings but grinned and bore them.
T, thankfully, doesn’t look like she’s towing that line; even though it’s too early to be certain what her take is on meetings, she seems to love group activities with her family and friends – a lot of them.
So when she first told me about her desire to become a Brownie Girl Scout, I gave her half a listening ear. Oooooookay, I thought, either she was just displaying childlike tendencies because her bff was a brownie or she genuinely wasn’t like me in this aspect.
I told her I’d think about it and promptly forget about it.
Until she started coming back from school every Wednesday afternoon and beginning each conversation with ‘In Brownie today, we did…’
Until her class teacher told me about her full, enthusiastic participation and dedication every time there was a Brownie activity.
Until she began displaying good, newly – acquired habits learnt during Brownie time together.
Now she had my full attention.
That I didn’t think anything of voluntary organizations or meetings or gatherings didn’t mean they had not relevance and usefulness in the society or that my daughter couldn’t imbibe good life’s traits from being a member. Didn’t I want a better, more involved life for T? Didn’t I want her to explore her community and talents in the best and safest ways possible? Wasn’t being a Brownie part of achieving that?
Like most parents, I want a more robust life for my child than I had. Exposing her to more opportunities and possibilities than before. That’s why extra – curricular activities are thriving in many schools today. T’s included. There are music lessons, sports clubs, karate/taekwondo classes, ballet lessons, chess club, voluntary clubs, etc. Most of which were absent while I was in primary school.
By the time I was done musing over the pros of T being a Brownie Girl Scout ( friendship, fun, age – appropriate activities, team work, part of a sisterhood, etc), I had paid for the membership and uniform fees.
And two days ago, on Wednesday, she proudly announced to the world that she is a Brownie as she donned on the uniform to school that day. For some reason I can’t explain, I found myself beaming foolishly at her. She had just broken out of my boring, no – membership, no – group – activity mould and, probably, begun a trend for her generation and the next in the family.
I’ll be willingly adding other extra – curricular activities to this one soon, with her acceptance and permission, of course.
Now to look for some for Chairman.