Volunteerism

So, there I was … sitting in my first ever parent-teacher association meeting. Because after three years at this school, I decided it was time to get involved in my children’s education. And also, I was looking for a way to contribute that didn’t include recess duty or arts and crafts with 25 five-year olds.

So, I’m sitting in the September meeting as projects are being assigned for the year. (Only a rookie parent shows up for this meeting, I would soon come to find out.) So, there we are … the three of us parents in a sea of over-worked and under-appreciated teachers. Eager to join in our children’s educational endeavors by lending our time, energy, and skills to the school. Hoping for a volunteer project that suits our skill sets. I’m thinking … writing website copy, perhaps. Or, even organizing a field trip to somewhere fascinating. But instead, I get LEGO Club and the first annual Auction.

While both of my children are thrilled to have me as the LEGO “teacher,” I have to take a moment to point out that there is nothing minimalistic about millions of LEGO pieces strewn about a classroom floor while hoards of children sort for the perfect building blocks to complete their masterpieces. It’s a good thing I’m a moderate now. It helps me to balance the insanity of my Tuesday afternoons with the amount of red wine I have to consume on Tuesday evenings. Everything in moderation, they say. So, as I’m sitting there in aforementioned PTA meeting, I think–LEGO Club? Sure. I can do that. What will I have–10 kids who want to build LEGO projects after school? Two of them are my own children, and I’ll have other parent volunteers, right? Sign me up.

Well, then we had the first meeting. 26 kids showed up. A full third of the entire school. And that’s only because there’s an age limit that prohibits the other two-thirds of the school from participating. Just me and one other brave Mom, who I beg to come back every single week. Oh, and it turns out that LEGO Club isn’t just about getting together and creating objects from our wild imaginations. In fact, it’s a national organization. Complete with statewide competitions. Registration deadlines. Specialized kits. Motors. Gears. Drive shafts. Matching t-shirts to be designed. Snack sign-up sheets. One little boy who raises his hand to answer every question even though he has no idea how to answer. And another little boy who literally asked me 13 questions about LEGO people one day. You have no idea what I would give for some Elmer’s glue and safety scissors over there at the arts and crafts table.

But that’s not the source of my need for “Moderate Meditations” right now. LEGO Club is a piece of cake compared to organizing a first annual fundraising auction. So far, the experience has resulted in more opportunities to sharpen my bartering skills than I could have ever hoped for. And fewer opportunities to bond with the other Moms than I was counting on. Unless you consider harassing my new “frenemies” to turn in their procurement forms, fill out their guest lists, and secure their ticket sales, a good bonding experience?

I have to admit … I’m rethinking this “deeply engaging in my children’s education” thing. Although, it is in keeping with my desire to fully immerse myself in the present moment. Who has time to dream about the future or dwell on the past? I’m just getting ready to go build some patio furniture out of LEGOs for this auction … and that could quite possibly take longer than it takes my husband to assemble toys on Christmas Eve.

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About Not-so-SuperMomma

See my previous blog at www.theminimalchallenge.wordpress.com to learn about how I used to be a SuperMom ...
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