Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Saboteur

Please understand that this is not a brag list. It is not a martyr list or a pat-myself-on-the-back list. It is, instead, a list that demonstrates how time and time again I fail to take myself seriously. How I constantly sabotage any time I might have available to write. And, most damning of all, how I justify it by thinking oh, but I'm being a good parent. Which is such bullshit. I could eliminate half the things on this list and still be a good parent. Anyways, here's the Unwieldy List. It's all the stuff I'm doing so far this school year:

- Co-President of the school foundation
- Marketing Chair for the big live/silent auction thingy
- Chair for Latino Outreach
- Coordinator for first grade tutoring program
- Chair for Author Day
- Webmaestro of the foundation site
- (most likely) Room parent for Risa's class
- (most likely) Room parent for Vida's class

So this list is why I went to last night's soccer meeting determined not to volunteer for anything. Not one single thing. And on the drive to our coach's house, I told the girls that if they were in the vicinity when volunteers were being requested, they were not to start jumping up and down and saying, "You do it, Mom! You do it!"

The coach has four children, and she is coaching two teams. She is also smart. The first time she asked for a Team Parent volunteer to procure the team banner, collect money for various reasons, plan the end-of-season party and perform other assorted duties, she did it casually while ticking off a list of general information. Five or ten minutes later when she asked again, she left a good twenty seconds of silence, waiting for someone to step forward. I was so proud of myself for sitting quietly. I didn't begrudge any of the other parents for doing the same; I am not the only person with an Unwieldy List.

We went over some other business before she asked for the third time. After she did so, she scanned our faces one by one while we all stared at the center of the living room rug. This lasted a manageable—though admittedly difficult—thirty seconds or so. No takers.

By the time she asked again, I was shaking with discomfort. I could not bear the interminable silence or the guilt. And so you have probably guessed by now who left the coach's house clutching the fucking Team Parent Handbook.


The team jerseys, by the way, are red with black flames. You can imagine what went through my head:

"Hell Hath No Fury!"

"The Red Menace!"

"The Devil's Advocates!"

"Blood, Sweat & Tears!"

The team eventually opted for "Fire Angels."

Which is okay.

I guess.


Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...

My motto for this year:

Overcommitment on another parent's part does not constitute an emergency on part.

It's a tough one, but yep, I'm starting to get creeping shoulders when the scout leaders come calling about upcoming events, and the school sends fliers of upcoming fundraisers, and the church starts making announcements needing people to man booths for the Harvest Fest. Creeping shoulders designed to shy away from saying "yes" or "sure" or "okay" that will inevitably lead to "I never have enough time to finish that *fill in the writing project du jour*!

*hug* First, I /know/ you are a good parent. The fact that you care about your children's activities to actually know when meetings take place, shows this. That you're willing to attend meetings borders on sainthood. Volunteering under pressure though... well you'll get over that too *wink*

It's tough to balance making sure your kids know you are there for them and teaching them that parenting is also about honoring our dreams.

In the meantime, Go Fire Angels!

KMRL said...

SuperMom, I see..!

You know, I don't think my old elementary school offered any kind of activities where a parent would volunteer his/her time...

BTW, what's a ROOM PARENT? I heard it in SCHOOL OF ROCK, but I wasn't sure what it was..

ver said...

Thanks, Bec. Something tells me I'll need to crash and burn before I learn my lesson. I'll just try to hang in there 'til then.

Hi kmrl! It's more like "SuperDumbMom." Lack of state and district $$$$$ makes all this fundraising and volunteering a necessity in public schools nowadays. Without it, many schools would have no music, art, field trips, computers, assemblies, and other enrichment opportunities. SUCKS!

A Room Parent at our school (at least in the early grades; not sure about later) just makes sure that all the parents are in the loop about things like class parties, volunteer needs, classroom needs, field trips, and special projects (like if a class is making something to be auctioned off at a fundraiser). Oh, the glamour! The glory!

thelastnoel said...

You know, you could also write about this over commitment thingy. The "Momoir" is a big thing these days.

Princess Leia said...

'Tis the season! Don't forget to give into the chaos every once in a while!!!

P.S. Julia always want me to be the Room Parent, Team Mom, etc., too. It makes her SOOO happy.