I started taking my kids to a volunteer gig at my daughter’s new school this summer, so my girl could get used to the place and the idea of being there before she started Kindergarten. We’d spend a couple of hours hanging out in the children’s garden, and maybe learn a thing or two about growing food. I love getting my hands in the dirt, and I appreciate any chance I can get to share and hopefully instill that garden love in my little ones. We had fun every time we ventured to the garden together, and made some new friends too.
So when a Facebook message popped up on the school group asking for a volunteer Garden Liason, I sent a message of interest. There was no “job description”, but I figured that I would get filled in by a staff member eventually. Then about three minutes later, I started getting email blasts about the next PTA Board meeting. Wait…did I….just…join the PTA?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about what PTA’s do other than the fact that they spoiled all the fun for Nancy in the first couple seasons of Weeds. My Mom helped out a lot at my elementary school, but she wasn’t one for coffee socials and fundraisers. So perhaps I had this stereotype fixed in my mind that PTA parents were keen upper class parents who were looking to elevate their social standing by subsidizing the purchase of new soccer balls and limiting the installation of condom machines in high school restrooms. Yes, I crafted this straight from what I learned on television.
Last night was my first Board meeting. The only person I knew I’d know was a fellow Kindergarten mom I had bumped into outside of school. We got to talking about school involvement, and she said “I love to be involved, but it’s not like I’m a PTA Mom or anything.” Aha, her charade of being an apathetic parent wouldn’t cut it now. We were in this together. The meeting got interesting really quickly as I was privy to information about budget mishaps and traffic woes at drop-off times. And these people got stuff done, quickly and effectively.
So I’m in. I’ve always been (as a girl in my Grade 8 P.E. class condescendingly labeled me) one of those “Participation People.” And what better than to participate on behalf of my kids.
Photo by Laurie Sullivan, Flickr Creative Commons