Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feast gets slim as kids get older

I decided at the last minute to take the day off and help out in my daughter's 4th grade classroom. Today was their Thanksgiving celebration and they were having a special lunch and doing some Thanksgiving crafts. Unlike last year, my daughter is in a classroom this year filled with kids whose moms love to help out and volunteer. Or so I thought. Boy was I wrong.

Classroom Mom Michelle had planned a great program. MiniMe and I have been fortunate enough to be in a classroom with Michelle as Classroom Mom before. Believe me, this woman is a force for good. She coordinates all the classroom volunteers and projects and does so in a way that makes every mom/dad feel welcome and appreciated no matter how much or how little they volunteer or give. Some Alpha Moms look down on those parents who don't have the time or latitude to volunteer. Thank goodness Michelle isn't like that at all. And don't even get me started on those Uber Moms who treat the classroom volunteer assignment as an opportunity to relive High School and form her own "cool click" with other moms like herself. Though thankfully, I haven't had to deal with one of those up close and personal (yet).

Back to my story. Poor Michelle was without much help today. I showed up bearing mashed potatoes for the "feast." Two other moms showed up to serve lunch, and one even brought a dish. But if it weren't for Michelle, the "feast" would have been slim pickings. She brought pumpkin pie, fruit, a turkey & ham cold cut platter, hot and cold apple cider, and cups/plates/napkins. I arrived with a vat of mashed potatoes. One other mom showed up with a cake and some rolls. That was it.

Why is that the older the kids get, the less involved the parents seem to be (until you get to high school and sports, don't get me started). I have to admit I feel a little ashamed of myself for letting almost the entire year go by without volunteering to help with anything other than the school carnival. When MiniMe was in first and second grade, I volunteered almost weekly. Last year, I helped out with all the major projects like the holiday celebrations, the school carnival, and the school fundraisers. This year, I took a look around open house and recognized a lot of the faces among the parents of my daughter's classmates. Faces of women (and men) who were regular volunteers. So I just didn't think they needed me.

I made a commitment today to help out in December for the next class holiday program. No one is going to confuse me with an Alpha Mom, but I don't want to be one of those moms who stops helping out as my child gets older and the excitement of being classroom helper wares off. Besides, how many more years do I have before MiniMe's classmates stop referring to me as "Miss Isabel's Mom?" That's so cute!

I guess MiniMe is going to be stuck with her mom around to embarass her at school more often.

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