Today I am volunteering at my kids’ school for Special Events Day. I used to be the kind of mom who just sent stuff or money in when they needed things, but I am trying to be a better person and a better mom, so this year I am a Room Mom (sorry, “Classroom Coordinator” so we don’t offend any dads) and a Team Mom (times two – how about that!) and I’m signing up for all sorts of things, left and right. Last year the school had a similar Special Events Day, but I did not volunteer. I don’t know if they failed to advertise or I was just not paying attention (most likely), or what, but I have been regretting my lack of involvement ever since. This was a subsequent article that appeared about it in a local publication:
Elementary School celebrates “Public Safety Day” with Secret Service
Once a year, various law enforcement, fire and emergency agencies across the metro area pick one school to hold a comprehensive “Public Safety Day.” This year, a local Elementary School was chosen, and the Secret Service’s Operation Safe Kids program fingerprinted nearly 800 students.
The following agencies participated in the event: FBI, Secret Service, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Postal Inspectors, Homeland Security, ICE, ATF, McGruff the Crime Dog, Fulton County Schools Police Department, Johns Creek Police and Fire Departments, Roswell Fire Department, U.S. Probation Service and the U.S. Fugitive Service.
Now, except for the mailmen (really?!?) and the McDog, this is my ideal school volunteering scenario. I couldn’t have written out a more dreamy guest list if I tried. I can’t believe that I missed it! I am a girl who appreciates all types of good-looking men, and even when you take an OK-looking guy and you put him in a uniform, his hotness quotient usually goes up at least a couple of points.
So when they announced that this year the theme was going to be Health-Wellness-Fitness-Safety and the Atlanta Falcons will be running their Junior Training Camp, I wrote an email to the volunteer coordinator that said the following:
To: Volunteer Coordinator Lady From: Me Subject: Special Events Day Volunteer *************************** Ooooh! Pick me! Pick me! Do you still need volunteers for this? I will certainly lend a hand if there is a chance that it involves football players. Or even if it doesn't, but I can't promise I'll be as excited about it then.
So I wished and hoped and crossed my fingers and was ecstatic to find out that I was chosen as a parent volunteer. (How hard up are they for help, right? That was my real email.) So I brushed my teeth and put on my most flattering mom sweatpants and Kid A’s Falcons shirt and got ready to go meet some professional football players.
But no such luck. I just got back from the Special Events Day festivities. There weren’t any football players there because of the ongoing NFL lockout/ walkout/ strike/ freeze, or whatever it is being called. The Falcons sent their Community Outreach team to run the show, which was entertaining (except for the dancing, A Night at the Roxbury style) and fun. I had a great time throwing football passes to the fourth and fifth grade kids all morning, and we got some good exercise too. Everybody worked up a good sweat. And when our event was over, we followed the whole school outside to the playground where we all got to watch a helicopter take off.
The day really was special and I felt good about volunteering at my kids’ school, being a participant in our community, and contributing something. I did it for my kids and their classmates. I didn’t need to see young, strapping men who made their living being fit and strong and athletic. I don’t need to be some dirty old lady who gawks at hot guys (not that there is anything wrong with that) and demeans them the way men often do to women. So I gathered my things and headed out. And when I walked out of the main office and into the parking lot, this is what I saw…
And I smiled. I didn’t even see any of the ever-reliable firemen from Ladder 61, but I knew they were there. I skipped back to my car, just happy to be me.
Volunteering really is good for you. I think I’m going to keep it up.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…