the dreaded PTA mom

Missing the adrenaline surprised me. Exhaustion set in for sure; I have never slept so hard as after the event.

But the next day as I thought about getting back to my normal life, all the things I normally love to do when I am not in charge of decorations for a circus-themed silent auction fundraiser (like write and spend time with my family), I realized I was going to miss the adrenaline that has kept me company during the last week.

I have never had such a role in one of the school’s main events. Quite frankly, I have stayed away from them. I am not a big “task” person. I prefer people.

And to be perfectly honest and risk offending people, the image I have in my head of a typical “PTA Mom” is not glowing. And that’s putting it mildly.

So for six years, I managed to avoid it entirely. I signed up for membership every year to show support for the school, but then helped in the classroom while avoiding eye contact with any one who might ask me to do something for or with the PTA.

But after enough years of avoiding the madness, I gave in.

One of my dear friends was chairing this event, so of course I volunteered for things I otherwise would have graciously dodged. And to be honest again, not all of it was easy or enjoyable.

But while I cannot stand the image in my head of PTA, the idea of coming along side schools to help them financially when they are being hit particularly hard right now is something I believe in strongly.

And that belief kept me going. Which was super helpful because getting different personalities together to work with each other toward a common goal can be…….tricky…….from time to time. We can all make each other crazy.

But that’s how we learn.

So now I am back to those things that connect me to my life and keep me grounded…….dishes, laundry, and toilet scrubbing as well as lingering snuggly hugs, intentional eye contact, and tender bedtime rituals.

And I love it, even though the adrenaline that comes along with being crazy together when planning a big event leaves a bit of a hole. I suppose that just makes me realize how valuable it was to engage in the process of working with others for a greater good. 

13 thoughts on “the dreaded PTA mom

  1. Christine says:

    And what fabulous decorations they were! You did a fabulous job as only you could. The entire team effort showed in the events final success. Hooray to you, “PTA Mom”, you know I had to write that. You are such a wonderful friend, mom, woman and I know Phil will wife. YOU ROCK!

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      Thank you, my dear friend. Your quilt was certainly a star of the show, we were so grateful to have it there! So glad to have you on the team! You are such a supporter of the school!

  2. Yep, I never want to be “THAT” PTA mom, either – especially after having been a teacher and seeing ALL kinds! However, I, like you, appreciate being part of “the process of working with others for a greater good.” Sometimes that is part of a large event, sometimes just in my own child’s class or making copies for the teachers…and sometimes just by enrolling as a member, paying my dues. It all matters and sends such a message to the kids about how much we value their education!
    (OK, sorry to soapbox here 😉 I’ll step down, now…signing off as a new PTSA Treasurer of the Jr. High for next year after successfully staying off the board at the elementary school…hmmm-we’ll see what the next year brings!

  3. free penny press says:

    Wow..this looks like it was alot of fun though.. I was like you, a silent supporter for all of my kids and was on a carnival event once and loved it!!

  4. Phew – I was getting ready to send you a note to make sure everything was okay since you hadn’t posted in awhile, but I’m so happy to see it was for such a good reason. All of this looks AMAZING! And as someone who works in a school, I know how important every helping hand is. It was so wonderful of you to do this!! I’m sure everyone is grateful. As am I to you, for sharing it with us. I hope you feel wonderful. This is such an accomplishment! xoxo

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      Thanks, Francesca! I was missing you as well and almost thought to send you a message and let you know I had not fallen off the face of the writing earth! Thanks so much for your sweetness to think of me and your affirmation here! Looking forward to catching up on your blog tomorrow morning with my breakfast!!!

  5. Simon Marsh says:

    Don’t EVER fall off the face of the writing earth Rebecca! Again, I loved this post. I am perpetually delighted by the quiet way in which your words bring comfort and grace to your friends, myself included. I don’t know why it should be that so many of us feel that we need permission to be most truly ourselves, struggles and joys ‘n’ all, but permission is just exactly what you give us as we read and so admire your honest, truthful self. Adrenaline’s great, absolutely, but you absolutely know and show that so is time to reflect, time for moments “on the steps of their porch”, time to encourage others in the lifelong processes of education and learning, for “snuggly hugs” (wow!), for chasing the blues away, and for writing. Thank you for being you. Let me say that again: thank you for being you.

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      I cannot thank you enough, my dear Simon! Your words and your heart toward me are such a blessing. I love how you said, “I don’t know why it should be that so many of us feel that we need permission to be most truly ourselves, struggles and joys ‘n’ all, but permission is just exactly what you give us as we read and so admire your honest, truthful self.” Thank you. I could not be so honored to receive such a compliment! I am so very grateful for you!!!

  6. Elena says:

    Rebecca– I am so glad you told me about your blog! It’s terrific and I am so thrilled that the woman who writes it has her children in my child’s school. The Spring Fling was terrific –I am so glad you enjoyed it and we are all indebted to you and all the volunteer leaders who poured so much energy into making it a success.

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      Elena! Wow! Thank you for finding my little space in the cyber world! You words are so kind, thank you! I am grateful to get to know you and work with you at school! Thank you!

  7. […] Rebecca Koo has fabricated a wonderful elephant procession that I’d love to see on the walls of our parish rooms. I love the “lightness of touch” in the elephants’ connection, “the call”, one to another – that energises and enables a brave leaving of the confines of the circus – and a heading out – perhaps for hitherto unknown and undreamed of joys in Hindustan? To Bombay […]

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