Why I might drown for the 2011-12 school year
posted by: Amber Johnson
Friday was our back-to-school night. For the first time, my kids will be at the same school: my daughter is entering second grade and my son is in kindergarten.
Before you start congratulating me that I have “arrived,” kindergarten is for a measly 2.5 hours, a mere drop in the bucket in the downpour of motherhood.
What I hoped to get out of the evening: Meet my children’s teachers, deliver their school supplies, connect them with future classmates, and point out the bathrooms (it’s best to keep expectations low).
What I got: All of the above and so much more. (Side note: the bathroom were locked.)
I have admittedly held off on being involved in the school. I volunteered in my daughter’s classroom a couple of times a month and helped with class parties but avoided joining the PTA because of my already overbooked schedule.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the PTA–I’m truly grateful for the volunteers who work so hard. It’s just that I’m an all-or-nothing person. It’s easier for me to boycott things upfront rather than get sucked in when others aren’t stepping up. The outcome is usually that I become the one leading the charge.
You could say I have control issues. Or lack-of-control as it pertains to just saying “no.”
At the kindergarten orientation the night prior, there were two presenters. The first was the PTA President who coincidentally gave a private swim lesson to my water-shy son last summer and taught him to conquer his fears. I hedged on the idea of finally joining the PTA.
Until the next woman stood up. She heads up a completely separate committee called “Accountability” that deals with the nuts and bolts of the school. Budgets. Development. Bonds. Mill levies. This group works closely with the district and makes things happen.
While the subject matters sound tedious to a right-brainer like me, I’ve long wanted to become familiar with the school’s inner workings and find out why things happen the way they do. I was sold when I heard the only commitment was once a month for a 1.5-hour meeting and I signed up at back-to-school night.
As I walked away from the table, the PTA President interjected, “OK, now sign up for PTA!”
The PTA? Had she not just seen me sign up for Accountability, my token contribution? As I started to decline, my PTA-cheerleader friend Lisa swooped in and before I knew it, my all-or-nothing approach had turned into “all” as I also signed up for the PTA.
Rah rah rah.
I later tried to justify what had happened. I mean, the woman taught my son to swim. How could I NOT sign up?
I’m just hoping the 2011-12 school year will not be my year to drown.
Do you volunteer at your children’s school?