Want some free entertainment? Volunteer your time. You’re probably wondering how that adds up to entertainment. Well, as luck would have it, I can tell you.
I’m the PTA president at an elementary school. Since taking on this position, I’ve had plenty of exercise (Running around in circles, banging my head on the floor, and dodging bullets), great food (cold pizza, burned popcorn, stale nachos), and some really fabulous company. I’ve learned a whole lot, too. 30 minutes in a room with 150 children at a time will teach you a few things!
There is nothing quite as entertaining as the light bulb coming on over someone’s head when they realize that PERHAPS tanking the K-2nd grade students up on Oreos, Twix, Skittles, popcorn, and sodas before expecting them to sit down on the floor in the dark with 150 other little kids, who are similarly tanked up on sugar and caffeine, to watch a movie that is NOT animated. I grabbed one of the other parents during the chaos that ensued to ask “Why didn’t anyone tell me this would be a bad idea???” She stopped for a moment, looked around at the cafeteria full of children playing freeze tag, giggling, running, jumping, kicking over soda cans, dumped out popcorn, smooshed candy bars, and bemused parents, and responded “Uh, what did you THINK would happen?” Well crap… I was supposed to think too? That was not in the job description when I ran for office.
Seriously though, when I walk into the school, all of the kids know me on sight and I get mobbed with great big hugs and kisses. Little ones want to tell me about their new back pack or hair cut. They want me to swing them around or tickle their ribs. Some of them just want to tattle on something Faitha did in class! The validation and feeling of accomplishment that comes from volunteering my time to the PTA is unlike any feeling I’ve had before. You never know what’s going to happen or whose life you’re going to touch.
The chance I’ve had to get to know the teachers and staff at the school, and share with the other parents, and all of the affection of the kids has brought me far more than I’ve ever given out to them. The next 9 months is going to be an extreme challenge for me. But at the very least, I’ll have tons of hilarious stories to tell.