Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yay, Me!

I was bestowed with honors this weekend, so I shall enumerate them here. It's all to do with elementary school - in particular, the school one or both of my sons has attended for the past ten years.

Friday was the PTA meeting (led by my dear friend L, who is PTA President this year) where they give various year-end awards to parents. A small slew of those awards traditionally go to the volunteering-crazy moms whose youngest kids are graduating, i.e., me. K is in 5th grade this year, and I kind of can't imagine not going up there anymore. I've served for repeat years as newsletter editor, coordinator of various competitions, library volunteer coordinator, and silent auction set-up chairperson, plus various other jobs here and there. (My friend M & I still have to finish the video for the 5th grade graduation, but all the rest of these tasks are done done done! It's a strange feeling.)

Anyway, despite the slide show full of embarrassing childhood photos, it was sweet to get my PTA Life Membership and a gorgeous bouquet from L. My friend C was also getting this award, and our girlfriends showed up to see our slide shows (somehow hers had far cuter photos) and they gave us even more flowers. So what I'm saying is, I had armfuls of gorgeous bouquets as I headed out to the PTA luncheon Friday afternoon. (Mmm, Mexican food and frozen margaritas. The real reason I took Friday off work!)

So, today. One of those volunteer jobs of mine was to coach K's Odyssey of the Mind team for the past three years. This involves meeting with 7 boys for a couple of hours every week from September through March or April, keeping them on track as they solve a long-term creative problem, and coaching them in solving spontaneous creative problems. The biggest trick to Odyssey is that there can't be any outside assistance - the team comes up with and executes the entire solution. So as much as you want to tell them "a little cross-bracing would stop that platform from falling over all the time" or "if your back is to the audience they can't really see your funny expressions" and so forth, you can't. And neither can their parents or sisters or best friends who aren't in Odyssey. It can be a little frustrating! On the other hand, going to the competition and seeing them perform an eight-minute murder mystery play they've written, using costumes and props they've created, performing songs and dances and many kinds of humor - and knowing that every ounce of it came from their own minds and teamwork - it's so amazing.

Anyway, today was the end-of-year party for the Odyssey team, and my friend A very graciously hosted it at her house. They brought in Indian food, the kids ran rampant for a while, the adults sat around and talked and laughed and relaxed, then I presented each team member with a certificate to note the especially strong traits each brought to the team. After that, the parents gave me a gift basket with a card signed by the team. The basket contained (um... past tense already...) three bottles of alcohol, seven kinds of chocolate, and two book store gift cards. I think these people know me well!

So, in conclusion - it's not that I volunteer for the flowers and candy and booze, but I'm feeling very loved and appreciated this weekend, and very rewarded for those hours.

Plus, I can barely imagine what I will do with my new masses of free time. Probably I'll start volunteering at the middle and/or high school.

(Robert: That's a joke. Breathe.)


  1. The satisfaction of volunteering is a great feeling. It's even better when those you're volunteering for appreciate what you are doing and show it.
    You certainly deserve the recognition.


  2. Yay you!!!! The award and acknowledgements for all you do is well deserved! BHE will miss you.
    LB :)