Fighting other people's battles...

(With International Students - the Mini-UN of my youth)

When I was in college I wanted to be a diplomat. I still dream about it. Unfortunately I am afraid I am too old, and my life too child-centered to start this path. But it's still in me somewhere...

Every once in a while someone does something to someone else that I think is wrong. Let's face it, that happens pretty much daily - if I look for injustice, I'm sure I can find it every minute - but every few weeks or so something happens within my little world that upsets me to the point that I want to take action and engage myself in the issue.

Recently I called a relative to inform her that her child had done something inappropriate. It totally backfired.

A few weeks before that I attempted to "fix" something at the martial arts school where my kids take classes. Again, backfired.

Nearly 100% of the time when I try to fix something like this, it backfires.

This week I got myself worked up about how mean one child was to another child on the sidelines after a soccer game. It was a hot topic of discussion for my daughter and several of her teammates. Child A is a known bully. Child B has a crisis at home and because of this, the girls are trying to be very nice to her. Child A was rude to Child B after last week's game and threw a bottle at her, hitting her. All the girls were shocked, but of course none of the coaches saw it. Speaking with a friend about this at today's game, my blood pressure rose to breaking point and I decided that I would speak to Child A's mother. Perhaps Child A doesn't know about Child B's situation?

I really want to call the mother and say to her, "I'm not sure if you know about Child B's situation, but the girls are all trying to be a bit extra nice to her. Maybe you daughter, Child A, could try it too?"

Or "tell your kid to stop being such a bitch to everyone, but especially to Child B" (it's my fantasy, clearly I won't say that!).

In light of the delicate situation, and my near 100% failure statistics, I am not going to call Parent A. But I'm tempted!

Maybe it's not so bad that I never had the balls to take the Foreign Service Exam. Diplomacy might not be my strong suit after all. But someday, I hope I still fit these criteria and can take that exam and have the career of my dreams. When I checked the website a year ago it bluntly warned that you will be sent to an area of conflict (read: Iraq). They've taken that off. They've kept some caveats, but that goes without saying. Right now I don't want to miss a single soccer game, much less a couple of years of my kids' life, so I can't apply.

It also says: Must be less than 59 years old... I've got 20 years left to try!


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