You know what else there wasn't when I was a kid? Prizes for walking to school. I say this because the other morning was the last Walk and Roll morning until 2009, and I actually had an experience that I never get to have: I had exactly the right come-back to a whiny mom who was griping at me. I was telling all the kids who were getting their cards stamped (long story, you don't want to know) that this was the last check in of the year and they should look for us in the spring. So, this mom says to me, "What about the kids who ride to school all winter?" and even though I wanted to ask her if anyone had ever given her a prize for getting herself to school, I said, totally politely, "I know, I walk to school rain or shine, too, so if you want to get here at 7:30 in the morning to stamp kids' cards, I'm all for it!" That shut her up. All those years of co-op preschool taught me a very valuable lesson: if I have a complaint about something volunteers are doing, or I have a great idea for something volunteers could do, I shut my pie hole. Unless I'm willing to do it, I keep it to myself. Or maybe kvetch about it with some friends.
I was thinking today about all the extra crap Leila's school does. Its kind of exhausting. It seems like every week there's an "opportunity" to volunteer or donate money or something. Here is an example of this week and last week: Walk and Roll, Cool the Earth, popcorn sales, PTA Staff appreciation luncheon, canned food drive, and holiday store. That does not include anything that is going on in the classroom; there was bulb planting and a walking field trip in Leila's class, and that was just today. Its too much, if you ask me, though no one is. What ever happened to just going to school, learning stuff, goofing around with your friends, and going home? Those days are long gone. All this stuff really gets in the way of all the important sitting-on-my-ass I have planned. And, of course, the kids hear about all the stuff, and they want to participate in everything, and there are prizes coming out of their ears. Do you know how many pencils Leila has? Hundreds! Okay, dozens, but all acquired from school programs and fire station open houses, and birthday parties etc. etc. There is no end to the crap that rolls in to this house.
And there you have the spirit of Christmas!