The only feeling more upsetting, more uncomfortable to experience that deep personal disappointment is witnessing it happen to someone close to you. For example, today was the culmination of one of my fellow CGSer's summer-long planning. She created an elaborate Investiture Ceremony that explained and welcomed each of our girls into the troop in a really special and touching way. There was also a snack made from the different "parts" of a troop. All in all, it was ridiculously cute. It took a lot of work, money, time, planning, care, and special touches. Out of our ten girls who practiced at the meeting (seven of which specifically told me they were coming) only two showed up. TWO. The elaborate ceremony, the special decorations, the individualized parts for each girl would all be for only two girls, two moms, and one grandfather.
We made the best of it, of course, as Girl Scouts often do. We took the girls on a tour of the "hugest building" they had ever seen (our four-story student center), while their moms filled out essential paperwork. The girls had a great time assembling the symbolic bouquet based on the Girl Scout Law. And what Girl Scout event is complete without the gorp (trail mix)? But you could see the overwhelming, though somewhat anticipated, disappointment on the face of the CGSer who had planned the event. It was supposed to be a big welcome party! A way to meet our girls' families, for them to meet us. A chance to show them what Girl Scouts really is, beyond something fun their daughters do during their afterschool program. In that capacity it failed. So while the excitement on the face of the two girls who did attend made it great, there was still that slight emptiness.
Watch someone else who is truly disappointed. There are no words to make it better. There is no antedote.