High School Never Ends

So, I wasn’t one of the popular kids in high school – whatever that means. My mother thought I was since lots of kids signed my yearbook. After all, popular means lots of people like you, right?

Anyway, we know that it didn’t mean that then. And I don’t know that it means that now, but you know what? I like who I am and where I’ve come to and what I’ve gone through to get here.

And deep down I don’ t want to be one of the popular kids even now, but….

A few weeks ago, I got invited to the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at Noah’s school. I’ve worked in the library a couple of times this year (when she actually had something for me to do) and I helped out with two of the three second grade science days (geography and weather).

To be honest, I almost didn’t go to the luncheon because it was a busy week and I had something that took me out of the house every day. I thought I could just bag it, but I thought I remembered going last year and it was fun, so I decided to go.

I don’t think I remembered going last year.

I walked into the Activity Center and there were all these tables set up, and 8th graders milling around with people in suits and nice dresses.

I was wearing my pink HeartLA t-shirt and jeans.

I went to another room in the Activity Center and found a woman I know is also a volunteer and her daughter’s in Noah’s class. She said yes this was the right place and that the 8th graders were going to be servers.

So, not a casual buffet, I’m guessing.

Anyway, the bottom line of all this is that it was a dress up luncheon – which was not stated on the invitation but everyone but me knew that. There were also reserved tables for an award winner and the board of the Home and School Association, to which I don’t belong because I just don’t want to pay extra for dues and all that.

So, we had a nice lunch of Mexican Food to celebrate Quatro de Mayo (it was May 4th), the Home and School Association presented the Mother Seton Award. This award goes to a woman (maybe it could got to a man, what do I know) who has worked with the Home and School Association for at least five year.

When the list of the winner’s contributions and accomplishments were read, I have to believe there was only five years out of her life when she WASN’T doing something for Home and School. She ran the auction for 20 years and was a room mother for 18 and did something else for 15 and some other thing for 8 and fourteen other things for 5 or 9 or 11 years and the list went on and on.

I kinda made some of that up since I can’t remember the “just a short list of her accomplishments” that was read to us before she got the award. I honestly wonder how she had time to raise her kids (two of whom were there with their spouses).

Now, let me say, this is a Catholic School and the people are genuinely nice, so no one commented on my attire and the ladies at my table (two of whom I kinda know and one has a son in Noah’s class) talked to me and it was pleasant.

It just wasn’t “fun.” I think In must be thinking of the VBS volunteer lunches because those are fun!

Anyway, next year, while I’ll still volunteer, I am bagging the luncheon.

So, this brings me to the next thing and a dilemma.

Noah and I decided yesterday that I’ll make rosaries for each of his teachers as end of the year gifts. We even went out to Hobby Lobby and picked out beads for each one. Today on the way to school, he told me I need to get working on them!

Then I open my email and there’s a note from our room mother saying that the Home and School has an idea for a gift for all the teachers. I don’t want to go into much detail on it because I have teacher friends and I don’t want to spoil the nice surprise, but they recommended that if we are planning to give a gift to our teachers, we donate to their cause instead.

They’re going to provide a list of all kids whose parents donated to the teachers, so I guess if they don’t get a gift from Johnny or Betty they’ll know why.

We’ve lived all over the country and Juliette’s gone to six schools from kindergarten through high school. Every year – EVERY YEAR – I never know what’s going on and I’m running to catch up. When Noah started kindergarten, I went to the new parents’ orientation and thought, Okay, I’m starting fresh and I’m the same as these parents. I’m new, too, and I won’t be behind because I didn’t grow up here or go to this school.

Then someone stood up and said, “If you plan to order supplies from Louisiana Office Supply, you can still do it.”

What? How does anyone know that’s an option if this is NEW PARENTS’ Orientation? When were we told about that?

Again, I was playing catch up.

I will never be part of the Home & School clique, as nice as these people probably are. I have one kid at the school so I won’t be volunteering for several grades every year. I love the school and the church and all, but I’m not emotionally invested in the building or the grounds or even the uniform. Those are trappings.

I love my son and I will fight to make sure he gets the best education and is treated well and fairly and his needs are met. I don’t know that worrying about auctions or parties or a big gift for all the teachers will do that. I will thank his teachers with a gift from my heart.

Maybe I’ll never be a cool kid, but I’ll be the best mom I can.