I did the dumbest thing a week ago. I know, you’re saying to yourself “it was a whole week between dumb things you did”?
But in my unemployed mommy state, I volunteered to help out at my son Alex’s 3rd grade year-end picnic. I mean, what better way to show the PTA how completely useless I am (and how much better off they are when I am employed and not mucking up the kids’ activities) than by spending my free time dishing out lunch to 8 and 9 year olds who are 1) embarrassed by their parents most of the time, and 2) not supposed to hear as many cuss words as are typically part of my daily dialogue.
After saying yes to being part of the food service workers (no Union, and I’m a bit bummed seeing as how we could use the benefits), an additional request came through. They needed volunteers to help fill water balloons. I jumped right in and said yes, mentally listing out my intended PTA parent targets. You know, the ones who say to you when you introduce yourself, “oh yes, you’re the one who works and isn’t able to volunteer much”.
In spite of the dread I was feeling about my volunteer service and the behind-the-back whispers about my now unemployed status, a funny thing happened.
As I watched my son play with his classmates, he was having a great time reveling in his 9-year-oldness, and just happy his mom was able to be there.
Then it hit me. Hard. It mattered not what the other volunteers thought of me. Today, I wasn’t an unemployed-helping-out-because-now-I-had-the-free-time-to-do-so mom.
It was my true volunteer gig that mattered. Today, I was just mom.