Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hello From Under The Bus!

So last night, as previously mentioned, we took the youth ice skating. Yes it was bitterly cold, and no I did not really take smoothies. I wasn't actually in charge of refreshments. It was a young men's activity - and they had invited the young women along because, well, everything's more fun with the young women, right?(I mean, if you're a young man?)

But I was in charge of driving my own vehicle, and I am (with lots of help) in charge of all the girls. Which is why I have a policy that everyone rides home in the same car that brought them. Every driver is responsible to check his or her car for the correct riders, and then you can safely assume that everyone got home, right? RIGHT?

It's a simple system, but apparently you have to have everyone on board for it to work.

I guess one driver didn't really understand the system, prompting a discussion back at the church 30 minutes later of "Hey, where's Genna?"

Which was immediately followed by me making a phone call to Genna's mom to see if Genna had made it home, which she had not. Apparently though, she HAD called her mom to tell her that I (me) had left her there after she told me she was going to the bathroom. And Genna's mom was anxious to tell me how she felt about her being left behind. And let's just say she wasn't happy. (and I guess I don't blame her...)

As I listened to the frustration in her mom's voice, part of me wanted to say Hey!
  • I wasn't in charge,
  • I wasn't the driver who left her,
  • She never told me she was going to the bathroom,
and you know what else?
  • 37 other kids made it back to the right car at the right time. It's not like she didn't get the same directions as everyone else.
But I decided that the mature thing to do was to just let her get it all out and to apologize profusely.

I used to think that maturity was sort of an outlook on life based on experience and compassion that you can bring to a situation.

The older I get, though, I realize that maturity mostly means that I'm just too tired to get all into it, and I don't want to keep talking about it.


Just throw me under the bus. I'm getting used to it down here.

37 comments:

Heather said...

Ha ha! So now I know the secret to your patience and wisdom.

It doesn't matter how many times you go over rules, have "policies", etc sometimes things like that just happen.

Sorry it happened. I been on the receiving end of many thoughts from unhappy YW parents. No fun.

Tay said...

YW is a frightening calling.

Amy Peterson said...

So I must be really mature, because I just don't even answer the phone!

You do a GREAT job! And all we can do it try our best. That said it's not all your responsibly to hold everyones hand, and make sure they are were they are suppose to be! SO basically what I am saying is that Young Women is in charge of HERSELF! I know a frightening concept for some! Is there any room under the bus, looks like a cool place to hang out!

Kristina P. said...

This happened several times when I was a wee Youmg Woman.

goddessdivine said...

After teaching adolescents for 9 years, I've realized that the brain turns to mush between the ages of 12 and 18. But that still doesn't negate the fact that this YW should have taken responsibility!! What a doofus, I mean sweet child of God.

That mother needs to get a grip. This is the kind of mother that thinks her child can do no wrong.

I still love you!

Yvonne said...

I'm so sorry. I have to say I'm still trying to process the "37 other kids". Can I just stop and say how fun it would be to have that many youth ; )

Sidetracked, sorry. Leaders can NEVER do anything right--at least that's how it feels sometimes, doesn't it ; (

Lara said...

Yes. The older we get, the less fight we have in us. I suppose it's a good thing.

We left a girl once at a YW activity. When we went back to get her she was nowhere...poor YW Pres just laid down in the park and bawled. But she was found running through the sprinklers, eventually. Fun times.

Liv said...

I feel your pain.

And I have a cut out of a yellow bus in my office for this very reason. I'm always under the tires.

Lucy said...

Ahhhhh.....Young Women years. They rat more than necessary to their mommas about what goes on when it's usually their own fault with not listening. Darling girls for the most part but....some of them??? If only spanking were legal.

Melissa Bastow said...

I like your definition of maturity - I completely agree.

Erin said...

I'm sorry for that frustration. I guess you have to go over the rules yet again with the drivers.

Barbaloot said...

Then bucks says Genna bears her testimony about this experience someday soon...

Annette Lyon said...

Had the same thing happen at a Temple Square activity. The YW leaders made a point of keeping the riders, but it didn't occur to the male leaders to do so. It was a mess.

Tink said...

Oh man! I was in YW's for 10+ years and loved every minute of it...but every once in awhile you got a psycho parent who went all out on ya. Ouch! I hope you crawl out from under the bus soon!

Paul said...

Call the Young Woman and tell her she's not invited to YW activities anymore.

I'll bet you anything her mom forgets about the original transgression.

Cynthia said...

I took the YW to our city art museum and we walked through one room that had a temporary photography exhibit which we realized right away was a bit more than a PG rating. I had to hear a mother tell me how her daughter was curled up in the fetal position humming hymns to herself to rid her mind of the images. Yeah, good times.
Getting left behind will make a good story for your yw for years to come (of course, it will never be her fault in her version).

mormonhermitmom said...

Well that's why the parents give their teens cell phones right? To keep tabs on them? Am I wrong?
You did good.

Melissa said...

Well, at least you found her! Perhaps you need to print up little cards to explain everything to the leaders and girls. Maybe even draw little stick figures to make sure they get the point... sorry this happened to you :S

blogismycopilot said...

It is true, no YW leader can ever go anything right. The kids can do no wrong, and you can do no right. It is TRULY a thankless calling.

And so...

Thank you for serving the youth of the church. you never know when in the future this young woman will look back to this experience as a time when she learned something important ( like how to follow rules and communicate).

Sue said...

Ahh, many, many years ago when I had the Beehives we combined with the Deacons (two quorums of them - so HUGE!) to the nearby grocery store to get ready for a "Dollar Dinner" We had about 40 kids. We couldn't find 3 of the girls and finally left the church without them. Well, there they were at the grocery store - they had decided to walk. I was furious. But instead of kneeling in prayer in the store asking for guidance I decided to send them home for the evening. Result: One angry Mom brought her daughter back and said I had no right to tell her she can't participate in an activity, Mom #2 hated me forever after, Mom #3 told her daughter she should follow the rules. I still like Mom #3 ;>)

Dave & Chels said...

I read your sidebar comment about making comments and realized I, too, live for comments on my blog. I am also learning about maturity (and realizing I have a loooong way to go in that area) and I like your comment that sometimes you just need to drop it and stop talking about it. It also adds un-needed drama, and in most cases that does not help to solve anything.
Okay, I think I'm done now. I love your blog so far!

Dave & Chels said...

By the way, I totally side with you. I mean, she's a teenager (or pretty close to it) - they need to learn to grow up one day. Parents included.

ganelle said...

I once took a group of 14 kids to Europe for 10 days. My number one goal? Come home with all 14. We all made it, but I was a wreck the whole time (think teenagers in Amsterdam...)

Becky said...

Well, flip, I must already be mature, then! Excellent.

The Mom said...

LOL I really hope that I don't become one of those parents. Because when you only hear your child's side of the story, the mama bear comes out. I will remember this when my child calls me!

Alison Wonderland said...

I think your definition of maturity may be just about right.

The Dillon 6 said...

I am happy that my lot in life seems to be with the Primary!!! The Youth scare me, but their parents scare me more!!!

That Girl in Brazil said...

Um, you're a better person than me. Pahoran I am not.

wenderful said...

You are a brave brave soul!

Karen said...

I taught preschool for 30 years and went on many field trips. Every single time I panicked over whether or not I remembered to bring all the kids home. My other fear was leaving the daycare for the day and accidentally leaving a child in the bathroom - not realizing the parent hadn't come to pick the child up! Thankfully, that never happened either.

Vern said...

I've SEEN that bus before! They've done really nice work underneath it....

Stephanette said...

Sorry...I really feel for you. Been on your end of the phone many times.

"Pick your battles." is my motto right now. I would have done the same thing that you did.

A few weeks ago, one of our girls snuck off to catch a ride home with one of the boys. No big deal except yeah he's eighteen and she was fourteen. One phone call to her mom and I felt the tire tracks.

Hope your feeling a little taller today.

madhousewife said...

Oh, dear. God bless you. It's not easy to listen to all that and apologize when it wasn't even your fault, but I understand what it means to be too tired.

I'm sure you will be blessed for your graciousness...one way or the other. :)

Whitney said...

Dang. You're so nice, I would have had to bite my tongue, too. I'm sorry that happened. But, the girl was okay, right? So the mom couldn't be a liiiiittle more understanding? :(
Next time, Genna gets shotgun so you KNOW she's there, ha ha.

Carrie said...

Oh man! Teenagers are such a trial sometimes. With that in mind, I like to think that my mama bear doesn't come out instantly and that I take time to hear both sides of the story...but I'm not sure I always do. With that in mind, it sure would be nice to say to mama bears everywhere that they maybe need to breath before they explode. Especially when that explosion is aimed at you...

No Cool Story said...

"I have a policy that everyone rides home in the same car that brought them"
I LIVE by this rule! Last time we (adults) didn't hold to the truthenss of this rule two people got left behind :(

Anyway, you are a good woman JustRandi, as you did what was right to an anxious mom.
YAY for you!

Nancy Face said...

I have served in the calling you have...years ago when I was quite young and lots more immature than I am now. I made many mistakes, but I really tried and did the best I knew how to do.

One day an angry mom sent me a letter that was so filled with hatred it made me cry for DAYS. I wanted so badly to write a letter in response and attempt to defend myself, but I ended up doing nothing except to treat this mother with exaggerated friendliness. I think it really ticked her off, haha! ;)