I’d love to volunteer! Actually GOTTA GO

Am I a PTA mom? This is the existential life question I’m facing.

Of all the stereotypes I’ve been in my life, the suburban-mom one has hit me the hardest. I’m not sure why.

It’s all choices I want: house, yard, kids, dog (dead now, but he was great). Yet moms talking about arts and crafts still makes me feel cringey. Makes me want to pack up my family and backpack around the world for a year. Or a summer. Or whenever everyone uses a toilet.

Two more weeks and BB graduates from pre-k. One more summer and she’s off to kindergarten with 180 of her closest friends. It’s a school with 10 kindergarten classes. I can’t wrap my head around that.

In April there was a FB post about a PTA meeting for her future school. April Jessica was fully vaccinated and signing up for everything.

The PTA emails me back,

“You’re welcome to attend, but if you wanted to wait until our June meeting, there may be more that pertains to incoming kindergarteners.”

Good plan. I wait. The June meeting comes along. Should I go? My calendar is filling up, but I’m eager for as much information about school as possible.

I take my suburban-mom self to the meeting. They need help with next year’s book fair. My hand shoots up.

Maybe I’ll never volunteer for anything again, but I have a hard time saying no to books. They continue,

“Could we train a parent to use the cash register this year?”

“I’m great with a cash register.”

Everyone stares at me. If I can make change for incoherent, drunk adults, I’m confident I can make change for book-loving five-year-olds.

It’s very nice to have face time with the principal and vice-principal. Maybe reason enough to go to the meetings. The vice-principle mentions,

“All the supplies are in for the science kits, we just need to assemble them.”

One of the women in charge volunteers,

“We can stay and help you.”

OH DEAR. This is testing my resolve. I stay. I start assembling kits. How long do I need to stay? I make it through one package of straws, 2 straws per kit. I grab my bag, yell nice to meet everyone and make one of the most awkward exits of my life. Followed by a great sense of relief that I’m no longer assembling science kits.

I send the requested follow-up email to confirm my interest in helping with the book fair. I haven’t heard back yet.