Wednesday, June 10, 2009

End of an Era

About 3 weeks ago Madeleine, my youngest daughter who is in 8th grade, brought home a permission slip for a fieldtrip to an Armory. The permission slip also asked for parent volunteers to serve as chaperones. My first reaction was "no way do I want to spend my day off with a bunch of 8th graders at an Armory, of all places". Now, before you take away my Mother of the Year Award, I should note that when my girls were little I signed up to chaperone absolutely anything and everything that I could. And I was always disappointed if some other parent won the chaperone lottery for a particular event. But I will admit that about 4 years ago or so the bloom was definitely off the volunteering rose. I still attended all the events at school that were open to parents and I still did my fair share of chaperoning. But, my initial reaction to this particular trip was thanks but no thanks. Then mother guilt reared her ugly head and I decided to ask Madeleine if she WANTED me to chaperone. She said she didn't really care. But did she really mean it? I couldn't be sure. Then it hit me. THIS would be the absolute last field trip I would EVER have an opportunity to chaperone. As in FOREVER. I decided to do it. I signed up. A week later the trip was canceled because not enough kids sent in the voluntary $26 donation to defray costs. Off the hook! Yay! I did feel a little sad, though.

Now don't feel too bad for me - yet. A week or so after that a woman from the PTO called and asked me if I would be a parent chaperone at Career Day which would be held at the Middle School. "Luckily" it just so happened to be planned for one of my days off. Lucky me! Remembering that my opportunities to interact with my daughter this way are quickly dwindling, I felt as though this was my second chance to have that last experience. I said yes! (I'll take that Mother of the Year Award back now. Thank you.) I was told to show up at 8:30 am. Fine. Being anywhere where I have to be showered and dressed by 8:30 am is a stretch for me. Add to that Madeleine missed her ride to school and I had to drive her at 7:30 am and you have the makings of a hectic morning full of angst and wolfing down breakfast. (Not to mention no time for my regular morning bloggy time. Humph.) Anyway, I make it to school with minutes to spare. The woman who called me is in the lobby, but I don't see any other moms. What the heck! She sees me, her eyes get big with surprise and she says, "OH NO, didn't I call you? That's right I called everyone except you because I didn't have your phone number on my list. I don't need you till 9:00 am. But that's OK, we have coffee in the library." At this point I wanted to choke her. But I didn't. I told her as nicely as I possibly could, that I would leave and come back, because I had some other things I could be doing. Did she really think I had nothing better to do that day than spend 45 minutes sitting around waiting to spend 3 more hours sitting in a classroom listening to adults describe their professions to a bunch of bored 8th graders? And why did I need to be there anyway? All the presenters were adults - presumably parents of students in that very school. The reason was so that if something went wrong (like what? Someone throws a spitball), the presenter wouldn't have to deal with it. Whatever. Now I remember EXACTLY why I stopped volunteering in my kids' schools all those years ago. In any case, my volunteer duties are now officially over. It's the end of an era. And I couldn't be happier! (I will happily relinquish that Mother of the Year Award now. Any takers?)


The Muse said...

So glad you found me from delightful!
And very pleased to come and visit you :)

Ah the days of PTA and Mom long gone from my calendar...(she says with RELIEF!) LOL...oh those days were wild!! I can only IMAGINE what they would be like today!!!!!

Tammy Howard said...

No thanks, Pam - you can't pass it on to me. I'm a bad mom. It says so on my T-shirt...

Ronnica said...

$26 is steep, even if it's "voluntary!"

Juls~ said...

Hi Pam!

Glad I found your blog - you posted on my website back in April *TresJoliHome* ... still working on it! ;)

Anyway, wanted to commend you for letting your Fairy Guilt-Mother encourage you to be involved. I was asked to do my son's Golf slide show for banquet this year and it was a wonderful experience. I feel more comfortable involving myself with my kid's school stuff from a creative or sports standpoint. But organization and management are not my thing! So, I believe people should give back with their talents.

Okay, so what's a good, juicy romance novel I can read??? I signed up for Goodreads beause of your blog comment a few days ago and created a profile under PapierCreatif {I should change that to something more personal}.

Great blog, SITS Sistah.


Anita said...

Pam, you are not alone in happily giving up that "mother of the year" persona. I was very involved when I first stopped working outside the home @ 8 years ago. I suddenly wanted to be the room mom, the mom who could help with the messy art projects, the mom who could help with just about everything. I found myself really involved with my older girls classes(small Catholic School) and then when Nick came around I sort of petered out after 2nd grade..........seriously I just got tired. I still do a small amount, but I'm not waving my hand in the air and jumping up and down to be called......and those room mom jobs.....oh please honey, don't even look at me.

Pam said...

Muse - Thanks for taking the time to visit me. I appreciate it. I'm relieved to hear that even though your school volunteer days are in the past, you are happy that they are over. I wonder sometimes if I'm going to miss these days and regret that I didn't appreciate them at the time. I hope not.

Juls - Thanks so much for making a visit to my blog. I really appreciate it. Romance is not a genre I'm all that familar with. But here is a link to a blogger who reviews Romance novels. Good luck!

Gamma Sharon said...

I don't miss all that volunteering stuff. I gave up my Award a long time ago. But I have to say, some of them are wonderful memories.

mommytoalot said...

I am not a huge fan of volunteering...I did it a few times. MOTY award for me either.
thanks for your kind comments on my blog .

Pam said...

Sharon - I do hope that some day I will look back on my years of volunteering fondly.

mommytolatot - Thanks for returning the visit. I really appreciate it.


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