Monday, February 16, 2015

The Introvert Who Shows Up

"Ask. Ask if you can come. I want you to come!" Natalie tugged on my arm as I carried her Valentine's Day goodies to her classroom.

We had simple Valentines to pass out. Nothing fancy. (Read: nothing from Pinterest.)



I also had cookies. Store bought, because I didn't want to accidentally poison someone.

Natalie wanted me to ask if I could come to the Valentine's Day party. Being in a room with children sounded about as fun as having the flu. Don't get me wrong, I like kids. I do. But I never know what to say to other people's children. My humor is warped. My kids semi understand it at this point in their lives. Other kids do not.

Still, in the back of my mind I always think, "Soon she won't want anything to do with you. Savor these moments." Weirdly, that voice sounds like Dr. Phil. I watch a lot of Dr. Phil.

"I'll ask," I promised.

We dropped off everything in the classroom, and I asked the teacher if I could return for the party. She said yes.

"Yay," Natalie said beside me. She beamed. "Soon she won't beam at you. She'll roll her eyes and make snide remarks under her breath about you." Yes. I'm aware. Thanks, Dr. Phil.

So I came back. I was a tad early and the kids were still at recess, so I waited outside the door. A child walked past me, stopped, and went, "I don't know you." I answered, "I don't know you either." He gave me a blank stare. I gave him a blank stare. Then he continued on down the hall. Where he came from, I don't know. It occurred to me later that I should have said I was Natalie's Mom and that I was waiting for the party to begin. But as I said before, I do not know what to say to other children.

I heard the rumblings of excited voices and knew Natalie's class was returning from outside. I spotted her in line, and her face lit up. Like really lit up. The same way my face lights up when one of my book reserves is ready in the library. She rushed over and hugged me.

We walked in the classroom, and I always feel out of place showing up, because I'm socially awkward and can't just dive in and begin to help. I watch other mothers just dive into helping and they do it so smoothly that I'm envious. I nervously stand around, hoping the teacher will tell me what she needs.

In this instance, I was the only parent there because the teacher did not ask for volunteers. But she seemed grateful that I was there, because the party would have treats and root beer floats. She asked if I could make the root beer floats.

I moved to the table where the food was set up. I was glad to see cupcakes and cookies and chips. I could never send my children to a school that banned sweets. Sweets are an important part of life.

I served the root beer floats. I chatted with the teacher. We talked about the boy who likes Natalie. Natalie has admitted to me that she likes him too. Really, this means they giggle at one another and chase each other at recess. Kids came up and asked for more ice cream. At one point I gave one girl three scoops, and she told everyone, "Natalie's Mom gave me THREE scoops!" Then the other kids rushed over, cups raised, wanting three scoops. The teacher said, "How about we just stick with two?" Oops.

Second grade is fun. I overheard people saying this was the BEST VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY EVER! Someone else talked about how her parents were going on a date and that she wasn't invited. "It's sort of rude," the little girl said seriously. A boy said he was going to eat all the candy he was given for dinner.

Yes, this sort of thing makes me uncomfortable. But I do it for my daughter.



Because right now, she likes me.

25 comments:

  1. This is so sweet. It's great that you get to do things like that for your kids. My best memories are when my parents were able to do these things or take us on field trips...

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  2. :) I love this!!! Such great memories.

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  3. Our valentines were store bought too. Being in a roomful of kids is likely to actually give you the flu.

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  4. Aww, so glad you went to the party and Natalie enjoyed having you there so much!! :)

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  5. I hope I can be an awesome mom to Pemberley someday, like you are to Natalie 😀

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  6. Awe, so sweet! I remember those days. Glad you are embracing Dr. Phil's advice " Savoring the moment". Those are good memories.

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  7. Lmao. I love kids. I'm really envious of you. I swear all my rockstar party like I'm channeling Robert Downey jr meets lindsay Lohan have caused me to have fertlity drama. My mom used to come to my class parties. She rocked. Most of the moms at my private school were too busy diddling the tennis pro at the country club to show up; not my mom she was always there and so creative. Tmi I know but heyyy.
    Your daughter won't forget that you were there for her.

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  8. Oh, I always dreaded party day - it was a contest to see which mom could bring the best stuff and do the most. I always signed up for bottled water & juice. It was nice when I started working at the boys elementary school - then I just walked through and made an appearance at the party but didn't stay the entire time:)

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  9. Cherish those moments, because when she looks back she is going to remember that when she asked you showed up. That feeling will be with her forever! Those women that just jump in and help....trust me we do it out of nerves too. It gives us something to do, instead of wondering what to say. ;)

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  10. I can totally relate to all of this! I never know how to deal with other kids... and since i work I rarely go to school functions, but when I do my son is THRILLED.. but I always feel out of place. As long as he is happy, I can suffer through some PTA chatter... ;)

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  11. I'm not a huge fan of stuff like that either but for my daughter, I'll do it. Because I know one day she'll want me to just go away.

    There are some kids I can talk to and some I can't. I actually had one of Erica's friends tell me she likes me because I "mommy her". I'm not 100% confident what that means but I think it's a high compliment.

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  12. Good on you mama! I struggle with things like this too! Eeek! I have anxiety just thinking about it!

    I had to laugh at how you shared you watch a lot of Dr. Phil-- LOL. I'm certain you've mentioned Dr. Phil a few times before.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

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  13. I love this post so much! And lol at the Dr. Phil voice in your head. Hahah! That's amazing. I think your reaction to that stranger-boy was perfect. Your personality is awesome

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  14. Awww...I'm so happy you went. Yes cherish the moments and throw yourself in all the pageantry! It's fun for now!

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  15. You and I are so alike.... I'm the same way when I go to the kids' school events... I went to one a few weeks ago and felt so awkward cause I didn't know what to do!

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  16. So sweet! The things we do for our kids right?

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  17. Ah yes the things we do for our kids that we would do for no one else. Been there done that. I am glad you went and my opinion is that 3 scoops are always the way to go!

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  18. Aw, so sweet! And, who only puts two scoops of ice cream in a float...? :)

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  19. Sounds like fun. I bet your kids really appreciated it as well.

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  20. Sounds very cute!

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  21. You do it because of the way you make your child's face light up!

    And we're totally twins. I'm awkward around kids (and adults) and I'm not really that into kids and I don't ever think to jump into action and like.. help do things.

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  22. haha that picture is awesome!! Kudos to you for doing it even though you didnt want to. I'd feel awkward too and Im not even an introvert.

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  23. I'm must like you! I hate going to these things, but I go to make the kids happy. Lucky for me, lately I've had the baby strapped to my chest and I just talk to her..

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  24. Now I feel overdue with a lunch at school. I haven't eaten lunch with my daughter this year because she's at the MIDDLE SCHOOL and that scares me! I need to do it though. And the elementary school with my son. He loves that!

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