Friday, November 13, 2009

A little disgusted

I haven't written for a bit, yet again. Seems that any extra time I have goes into something else, usually some quality time with kids, a little housework (very little), some lesson planning, or some web surfing after kids are in bed.

I figured this would be a great place to express my slight disgust about something I heard yesterday. But first a little background.

Moriah and Susannah have been receiving mailings from an organization called People to People. This group offers great-sounding trips that seem to be civics-focused to Washington DC for the low low price of a couple thousand dollars (plus airfare). The trips look fun and informative, but the price was an automatic no, especially for two kids and especially since I couldn't find any information about scholarship options in the first batch of papers.

Now on to the disgust.

Yesterday Jim told me that another mom asked if our girls were going because her daughter along with three other kids were planning on going to one of the trips. Now, her daughter is one girl that my girls aren't really getting along with lately, making me feel a little better that my two girls aren't going. But then Jim told me that this mom and the other parents were planning on asking the community to help them fund raise for this trip.

For whatever reason (basically, my own personal sense of what's acceptable), that really sat (set?) wrong with me. I would never ask others to help me fund a trip that is only a benefit for my own child. I can see asking an organization like Rotary or Lions Club for some funding, considering the focus of those clubs. But to ask other parents to pay for my child to go on a fun trip? That isn't cool. At least not to me.

I'm trying not to jump to conclusions as to what she meant by fundraising (as Milo would counsel me in Phantom Tollbooth), but if I am asked to support these kids for this trip, I won't be happy. In fact, I've imagined a couple of times today what I might say if any of these parents ask me to support the idea. And I haven't figured out what I'd say. (How's that for dwelling on the negative?)

Perhaps I'm jealous that these families are planning to send their kids. But I don't think that's it (particularly because it is a distinct possibility that the girls will have the opportunity to take a class trip to DC next year, something I am already anticipating saving for). I think it's more likely that I'm finding that my inner-overly-righteous-severely-judgmental moral police that I've tried very hard to squish over the years is very much alive and well. I just would never do that. Ever. If I can't afford to send my kid on a 'joy' trip (which is really how I see this), I would never dream of asking someone else to help.

A mission trip is different to me. A school trip that involves every student participating in the fundraising and that enhances the curriculum is different to me. For whatever reason this format of trips just doesn't resonate with me as a great reason to ask others for money. And I'm rankled.

(and rather uncharitable, huh?)