Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

More fun with teenagers

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Last night we went to the school open house. I got to meet all of Chris' teachers and they all told me how wonderful he is. Boy, does he have them snowed!

Just kidding.

When we came home I looked up and saw a gorgeous moon hanging in the sky, so we decided to do a little night photography. I hadn't done that since back in the film days, so we dragged out the Olympus and the tripod and experimented. I wasn't happy with most of the pictures. Two will be in the Picture o' the day post in a few minutes. Chris really enjoyed it and so did I.

Had another DI meeting yesterday. Three of the five team members cared enough to show up. (One, I'm told, was out sick and maybe that's why this team member didn't show up all weekend. Still, a phone call would have been nice.)

I'm sorry, but this is a sore point. I take time and spend my own money so these kids can do this, and it's just plain disrespectful of them to not let me know if they can't make a meeting. I can't expect everyone to be here for every meeting, but when the other team members are counting on someone to do their bit and that someone seemingly vanishes off the face of the planet, this doesn't help.

Story time. Get out your baba. (Warning: This story involves poop.) I'm the daughter of a Girl Scout leader. Maybe in some troops children of leaders get preferential treatment, but it certainly wasn't that way when I was a kid. I was the one stuck with all the grunt work. My mom helped out with day camp, and I was out there the weekend before, digging latrines for the Brownie and Junior units. By Cadette age (junior high) girls were expected to do that job on their own the first day of camp. This place was used as a cow pasture the rest of the year, so we also had to clear those units and the common areas of cow paddies. A lovely job indeed.

This was a two-week day camp, and the first Friday night was an overnight stay for all the girls Junior age and up. We all brought cots and slept under the stars in a large open area. This, of course, necessitated the digging of a few extra latrines nearby so the younger girls didn't have to stumble down the road in the dark. One year four Cadette girls got tagged to do the dirty work. I, of course, was one of them. The other three stood and watched as I dug one of three holes and then cut the bottom of a trash bag out and used it to line the box used as a seat. I started two more holes while they watched and finally dropped the implements and told them to have at it. You've got to understand that this was in Texas in June, so the weather wasn't exactly balmy. It was downright hot and we had to dig 2-3 feet through Texas clay. I figured that I'd done more than my fair share and it was time for the others to step in, so I went to the camp HQ where I was rewarded with a soft drink. The others returned half an hour later saying they'd finished the job.

I should have gone to inspect their work, but dang it, I was only about thirteen or fourteen. I couldn't think of everything. About nine that night a group of girls in the latrine area started screaming. Turns out the other three girls did not finish the work. I won't describe the scene any further. The adult leaders managed to get rid of the mess while I started in to dig out the other two holes. One of the leaders grabbed the shovel and refused to allow me to finish the job - she got the other girls and stood over them while they did the job right.

The girls were mad at me because they thought I'd ratted on them. Sorry, but it didn't take someone with the deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes to figure out who dunnit. Perhaps I should have checked to be sure that the job had been completed. I still feel a bit of guilt over that. On the other hand, I probably would have finished the task myself and then said something to an adult. I might have said something before I went back to dig. At any rate, the others would undoubtedly have walked away with little or no consequences while I was stuck digging to more holes. In that respect I'm glad they were caught. On the other, no nine year-old should have had to encouter - that.

So now you understand why I'm so sensitive on this topic.

In other news, Paul is on a plane, and he should be home in time to see the new episode of House tonight. Much rejoicing on several fronts. Chris is supposed to have arranged a ride. If not, the weather will be fine for him to walk home. I hope you took your inhaler, dude.

Well, I'm going to get the pictures posted and then I must get busy. I've got some housecleaning and grocery shopping to do.


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