No. I don’t co-op at our co-op-optional preschool.
No. I don’t volunteer for every school event.
No. I have never been a room parent.
No. I don’t go to weekend work days.
No. I have never organized a field trip.
Well, my kids are in school from about 8 – noon and when they’re there I need to be at work. My husband works more than full time, and when he’s home we like to be together as a family.
I’m sure that the seemingly hundreds of potlucks, festivals, hoedowns, fairs, library nights, coffee get-togethers, PTA debates, and math nights are awesome and enriching and life-affirming, but they cut sharply into the time that we spend together as a family. So we skip many of them.
I look at my kids and the deep connection they have to each other, and I know we’re doing the right thing. The right thing for us. Our number one priority is family, and community comes second. A close second, but second for sure.
Just this morning, Mike hurt himself when he was getting down from the kitchen table. Robbie started to help him run into the living room to see me when Mike turned to him and said “But I want you”
Robbie gently put his arms around him, Mike put his head on his shoulder, and Robbie patted his back saying “Oh, I am so sorry this happened to you” over and over until he stopped crying. Then he got him some ice from the freezer. All of this happened in front of me, but with no intervention or prompting. To say it moved me would be an understatement.
That’s love. And that’s the connection I’m working on building right now. Spreading our connection deeper into the community will have to come later.