Warning: photos in this post may not be for the faint of heart. Pun intended.
One of my favorite things to do is to volunteer at my kids’ school. If parents are invited, I’m there!
I love being able to observe them in their school setting–learning, interacting with their friends and teachers. It’s just so much fun!
And they love having me come in. That hour, once a week, quietly reinforces to them that I am there, I care, I’m interested. (Sure there are other ways to reinforce that, so if you are not a parent that volunteers at school, don’t think I’m ragging on you, because I’m not.)
As they get older, the teachers start weaning us off of our children. By third or fourth grade, the kids start planning their own parties, we do things for the teacher, rather than work with the kids. By fifth grade, there really are no classroom volunteers. And by sixth grade, forget it! They don’t even have parties anymore. Instead the kids start taking on leadership roles in the school–at Halloween, for example, they host a carnival for the rest of the grades.
I remember walking down to visit my oldest (a sixth grader) at the end of the day on Halloween party day. He wasn’t there. He was in gym class. His stuff was all packed up for the day. I walked in, probably looking very lost, and spoke to the teacher for a moment. Then walked to his desk where his costume, backpack and coat were all gathered and waiting for him. I said (lamely, I’m sure), “I’ll just take his costume with me so he doesn’t have to deal with it on the bus.”
I recognized myself for what I really was in that moment: a parent desperately wanting to feel like her baby still needed her.
It’s good the teachers start weaning us in third grade. It takes a long time!
A few weeks ago, sixth grade parents were invited to come in and help during science class!
You need me?
I’ll be there!
What? What did you say we’d be doing? Dissecting. Cow. Hearts?
Um. Yeah. Great. You can count on me.
Today was the day! It was actually supposed to be on Valentine Party Day. Get it? Hearts…Valentine’s Day…but it was delayed due to snow days.
And so I went. It wasn’t as gross as I thought it would be. I think my son would say the opposite.
In fact, he had this to say–“It was disgusting, but a lot of fun! My favorite part was when we cut open the heart along the septum in the middle.
I also liked messing around cutting open different parts to see what’s inside. My least favorite part was pumping air through the artery. It was gross.
I was surprised at how much blood there was.
I’m not sure if I would ever want to do it again.”
He may not be sure if he’ll ever do it again, but I am! I have three more kids to get through the sixth grade, and by golly, if they need me, I’ll be there!