Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our kids don't think like us

by Kris Mulkey

This past weekend I was trying to get Elli to understand something and she said "Mom, stop. I don't think like you."

It literally silenced me. I stood in her doorway looking at her and thought, you're right. You don't think like me. That's why you have not opened the spreadsheet I put together for you which will help you get your fundraising effort organized.

You're creative and a free spirit. Most of the time I understand you. But today I don't. You are a complete alien to me.

Why did I think she would want a spreadsheet? Why have I been banging my head against the wall trying to get her to understand my point of view.

She doesn't care.

She wants to figure it out on her own. Her way. Which of course in my opinion is all wrong. But then again. I'm not 14. I'm the mother of a very smart "I know everything." 14 year old. Just like I was at one time.

So how do we communicate with these alien beings? How do I get her to realize how hard it will be to raise $4,500 for an International Relief Mission trip to Fiji which she wants to go on this summer.

She made this announcement to me last Thursday night after I picked her up from dance. She was talking so fast with excitement that she could barely contain herself. She told me she has always wanted to help people in another country who have been affected by tragedy. Of course this was news to me. I've never heard her say this. Ever.
 
But, ok. I liked that she wanted to do something charitable.

"So my friend Sienna and I are going to FIJI for two weeks to help the people of FIJI!!"

Photo: www.travelforteens.com


Uh, what? FIJI? Was there a disaster in FIJI that we missed.

"Daddy wants to go to FIJI. Can he go to? Do the people of FIJI need help?" I asked.

"Mom, I'm serious. My friend Grace went on a trip last year to help the elephants." she said.

"The elephants in FIJI?

"No. They were somewhere else. We're going to FIJI."

"Ok..........She probably just shoveled Elephant dung the whole time." I said. "You won't even pick up the dog poop."

"Elephants just eat hay so their poop is less stinky."

I just started laughing.

"Elli, their poop is the size of our dogs!" I couldn't help myself. Who is she kidding here?

"Well, we're going to FIJI. So it won't matter." she replied.

"Ok. You have to raise the money. Dad and I aren't funding your trip."

"It will probably be around three thousand dollars." I told her. Only I was wrong. It's actually closer to $4,500.

I am officially the fun buster.

There was silence in the car.

I've done tons of fundraising in my life so I started thinking of things she could do to raise money.

I put it all in a spreadsheet so I could see exactly how many babysitting jobs, car washes, pizza parties, and donations from friends and family it would take to get her there. And then I emailed it to her. I really thought it was the best way for her to understand just how hard this was going to be.

I kept bugging her to see if she read the spreadsheet I sent her. And that's when she basically told me to back off  and said "Mom, stop. I don't think like you."

sigh....................

She seems to have it all figured out. She's very convincing when giving her sales pitch. Of course she doesn't completely understand what she'll be doing in FIJI. All we know is that it's the cheapest trip and the shortest plane ride from California. We'll get to the details eventually. I'm sure.

So there you go.

My little alien is raising $4,500 for a trip to help the people of FIJI.

And I don't know shit.

I'm sure I'll be hitting you up for a donation soon.

XOXO

Kris

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~Kris

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