Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PTA took my baby away.

Tonight was the first PTA meeting of the year. Some of you might be surprised at this acknowledgment. I am neither surprised nor ashamed. I actually enjoy it. The idea of "it" anyway- the meeting is nose hair plucking painful, but it is sprinkled with thoughts on learning, our children and the process of how we must vote to get things done. That I dig. A lot.
I find it personally lame that more parents don't show up. I get it though, they have read into all the anti-hype, they believe all the things that are being said about PTA meetings. I get it. I GET THAT. But let me ask you what political meeting do your feel completely enamored by? Which congressional hearing do you watch without taking a nap? Me? None. They are all boring. It so boring I am bored while I type, so I could possibly be typing in my sleep.
What I'm getting at is that things are boring. Especially when they are in a system, there is a protocol, blah blah blah... but I want to challenge that.
My Mother always said she would have been more involved in my school if she wasn't a single mom with 2 kids and more jobs. So this is for her, I guess. This angry, spicy rage I feel for all of those people who think they are too cool for the PTA. Too cool to help out at school, at home. To sign up to volunteer to do something that, sure you wouldn't want to do 15 years ago but welcome. Welcome to Fall 2011. Get involved. These kids are our future. They are the future of our social security and so much more. They are the ones that will be making sure we are set up when we can't do it for ourselves. Shouldn't we teach them how?


  1. Exactly. Make time for your kids now so that they will make time for you later. Kids learn by example...
    Being involved in your kid's world for 15 years has another bonus. When the darlings hit high school, and are thinking about getting into mischief, you know their friends, you know their friend's families and you know your kid. Being around makes the entire growing up process so much easier. It is easier to guide them into making decent choices when you know what the heck is going on.
    (btw... I have 5 of those "darlings" ages 14 to 20. Whew. AND I am darn sick of the volunteer wagon but I am still on it ... 3 more years and I might get out for good behavior!)

  2. Agree! To both of you. I always went to those school-meetings etc, cause my daughter always liked me being interested in her school stuff. Sometimes she had to calm me down, cause I got upset about things that went on at school, but she always liked it that I was into it :)

    Good point, Mrs Jeffries, getting to know the friends of your children that way. Definitely true in my opinion. Helped and still helps a lot. My daughter just turned 18 last Friday - very emotianl thing that! So many things including when she was born crossed my mind again. So many things happened in those 18 years. She's graduating next spring and even if the school system in Berlin sucks, I did what I could to show that I do care not only about my daughter and her teachers etc, but also about the school politics. Didn't change the politics, but at least got a good single result on complaining with other parents about the physics lessons that always got cancelled a few years ago. Actually the kids never had physics, cause the teacher was always sick and no other teacher was replacing him (normal conditions at Berlin's schools though). We at least made the school get another teacher for the class. At least something. I just want to say from what I see with other friends of my daughter now: It seems to me that for some parents it's easy to care for their children while they are young. By the time they are getting into puberty they stop caring for some reason. There is that one boy, well, young man I have to say now. His mother just cares about his school marks since he was in grade 7, about nothing else. So I personally think especially when they are becoming a teenager you should be even more interested in your kids, meaning emotionally. Sure thing that you can't overdo it and of course give them their free space they need. But show them without being nosy (haha, that's the difficult part) you still love to hear what's going on in their little teenager world even if you wonder about their 'inside jokes' for instance or whatever it it that makes it 'their' world. I wouldn't say my daughter tells me everything about her world, but she appreciates it that I still ask and share with her. I'm glad her musical taste worked out in the very best way most of the time (not so sure about that Japanese stuff she's listening to sometimes, but otherwise she's a Rock 'n' Roll-kid, yeah!) And I am lucky to be called "the cool mum" - that's like the oscar, grammy and emmy together for mothers I'd say :)
    To raise a child is a challenge, but a wonderful challenge. And now that my daughter is full-aged I can look at her and smile and think: I did a good job, well done! She's a wonderful, responsible, very cool, very sweet and clever girl! I'm looking with a lot of pride at my daughter, partly because I raised her being a single mum all the time, but also because she is what she is. Does that make any sense to you???
    Just want to say finally: As she is 18 years old now, it's not over, it'll never be over, she'll always be my daughter of course, but there is a certain calmness now I really enjoy. It has a new intensity that reminds me of the time after her birth when I breastfed her. It was basically the most convenient thing ;) but there was that special feeling of just my baby and me that I really enjoyed. So that 'new' intensity of knowing each other so well reminds me a bit of the 'old' intensity when I just could vaguely guess what the next years will bring, but I felt good, excited, eager and curious how it will all turn out. Well done.

    Was that too cheesy and corny? Sorry if I got drifted away ... it has been very emotional ;)