Ok…so maybe not THE Harper Valley PTA, but I did find myself at my daughter’s middle school PTA meeting last night. For years I had avoided “joining” the PTA thinking I would turn into a Stepford Wive or something. I volunteered at the school, but I could never bring myself to pay dues and go to meetings. Maybe I thought I would look stupid there because my views are different, because I’m a Buddhist, because I didn’t fit in. It was easier to avoid than to stand up for the fact that I have been outside the circle my whole life.
The meeting wasn’t bad. It was kind of sad actually, because there was hardly anyone there. A few moms, two teachers, and the principle. The tables were turned on me a bit as I was mad that more weren’t involved. (This is where you call me a hypocrite under your breath). The meeting was informative about all the changes being made to merge the middle and high schools next year. The teachers and parents discussed the Common Core and all its wonders and pitfalls. It helped me to not feel like a blazing idiot when it takes me 45 minutes to help my kid with a math problem. There is a lot of information exchange happening here!!
The best part of the meeting was when one of the PTA council members asked me if I was “Chloe’s mom”. She beamed about my daughter and what a wonderful, caring, kind young lady she is. She nodded to her smarts and again to her generous, kind heart. It left me smiling even after the topic of how Chloe always avoids the “girlie” stuff because she is a self-proclaimed “weirdo”. The council member said she applauded Chloe for staying true to herself in an environment that continually tries to force people to be the same. This woman was genuine and not just blowing smoke up my ass to keep me coming to meetings. It also made me realize that I had been avoiding these moms. If they knew me then maybe they would want to be friends and friendships are complicated. It made me realize that I have been spending a bit too long in the isolationists box I call my apartment, and soon enough I was going to lose my people skills all together. It was a good night.
There, under a foggy crescent moon, I felt for the first time in a while that maybe I am getting this parenting thing “right”. That maybe, just maybe, I am carving out the proper path.
Yes, I am a member of the PTA. I think it might make me a better person.