Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Just ten weeks after E was born, she started in daycare. (This is not a post about daycare, or its effects on children, or what I perceive to be its pros and cons, or what others may think it did or did not do to my relationship with my daughter.) By the time she was 11 weeks old, I was completely immersed in the school...spending time there at lunch, hanging out after work, befriending the teachers/caregivers/whatever-you'd-call-them, one of whom is STILL a good friend, six years later. I knew then that I was going to be one of "those" parents--those smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-things, buttinsky, PTA-attending parents. I was room rep at E's first daycare, room rep at the daycare here for both her and for N, and I'm now on the executive board of E's elementary school's PTA, just one year after she started attending that school. (Baroy predicts I'll be PTA president in two years, but I'm still insisting that I don't like to be the one in charge, which is very, very true.)

Anyway, last night was the first general association meeting of the year. I was in charge of hospitality (read: setting out the snacks and cleaning up afterwards), and had to give a report on my "area," which is parent involvement. And can I just say? I LOVE this shit. Love it. Even more than I would have thought. Being a daycare room rep doesn't hold a candle to the whole PTA thing. I'm having a blast...and I haven't the faintest idea why. I hate public speaking, generally. I hate being in charge or anything. I have NO time for this, and organizing parents is a time-intensive job.

Still, I have always loved gossip, office politics, being behind the scenes. I loved being at the meeting last night and being in the "in crowd," ridiculously high-school as that may be. I love the fact that I can't go grocery shopping any more without bumping into some school mom who has a question for me or just stops to say hi. I love the feeling of connection to the school, to the teachers. I love the fact that the principal knows my name, that the school secretary chats with me, that I can ask special favors of the custodians, that teachers who teach at the upper grades already know my children. I love feeling like I might just be enhancing the education at a place that I think is already doing a pretty awesome job despite some pretty awesome hindrances. I love feeling like I make a difference.

So, yeah, this week PTA meant that I didn't eat dinner with my kids twice--Tuesday was our executive board meeting, then last night was the association meeting--and that's not a lot of fun. But I loved what I was doing. I was so energized by it. And considering that I don't love my job so much these days, it's nice to be able to find that I'm-doing-something-good energy elsewhere.

[Just reread that, and wow. I sound like a freakin' cheerleader or something. But every word is true. I'm a complete and total PTA geek. So shoot me.]

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