I volunteer at Deal’s school every week. I have been in both my sons’ classrooms every week since they started school. I do what I can, though it’s not much. I want to do more. Being around children who are eager, imaginative, and curious is just the magical jolt to my week that I need. No desk job can give you such delight.
I believe volunteering is like exercise.
A little bit is better than nothing.
You always feel better after you do it.
It gives you perspective.
The time I spend at school is the highlight of my week. Both of my parents worked to provide for us so they didn’t have time to come to my school. I don’t recall time spent with them in first grade centers or on field trips. I want my sons to have those memories. Plus, it’s just so darn fun to be among kids. I’m thankful to have the time and flexibility to volunteer. I’m thankful my sons are in good hands for all the times I am clickety-clacking away at my desk or holed up in a meeting. I’m thankful the school and teachers welcome parents in their midst.
I learn a lot from the kids I work with. I get hugs from children who might not otherwise get gentle affection at home. I leave school with my smile muscles sore from grinning. But there are those moments where children spill something to me in confidence that make me gasp. They share poignant insights and confide in me. Don’t worry, it’s never anything serious or dangerous. When it was on one occasion I spoke to the teacher and the child got the help she needed. So many kids I get to spend time with just like having an audience. I’m happy to be the ears to their voices.
But the other day, my heart crackled into teeny pieces when a child I see regularly said to me, “Mrs. Ewen, Santa can’t always make it to my house.” And then he hung his head down as he drooped his shoulders and sighed. Oh. My. Heart.