For a long time now I've been wanting to find time to volunteer at my kids' schools. Always thinking I'd be able to at least pop in at lunch to sit with one of my children, that hasn't worked out well at all. Ronan's therapy schedule keeps me and him on our toes. Plus, he's the least bit interested in going. With the volume level on high from the moment we walk into the lunchroom to the moment we leave, Ronan would rather stay home where it's lots quieter.
All that noise, all that commotion, all that sitting he'd have to do is uninviting. The students are welcoming when they see Ronan come to school, which I'm always so grateful for, but the busyness of that lunch and recess hour, the loudness of the typical students' comings and goings - and the lack of interest Ronan has clearly displayed in the past - have kept me away from many volunteering opportunities. Sure, I could give my time elsewhere, but I'd like to start closer to home and where some of my family is.
Ronan needs me quite a bit, but so do my other children. So when I was able to schedule our therapists to come during the middle of the day, and because I do not need to be present for their sessions, I made plans to be out of the house and out in the community.
The minute I found out that I had more time for myself, I asked the school staff if I could please come help. I could finally see his siblings in their setting. This time, it was I who felt welcomed.
As odd as it sometimes feels, going from not being able to to being in the building as much as I have been able to lately, I try not to be the Mom who embarrassing her kids especially when they're surrounded by their peers (and especially when they ask me to dab!). Thankfully, my kids, as well as other students, are getting used to seeing me at school.
Hi, Mrs. Jameson! You're back! to which I happily reply, "Hey, kids! I'm glad to be here."
Hey, you're Izzy's mom! to which I proudly respond, "Yes, I am."
Can Ronan come with you next time? to which I lovingly reply, "Oh, thanks for asking about him. You kids are always so kind."
It's been refreshing and rewarding to go, to offer my time, and to be useful to others. I'm happy to finally volunteer a few hours a week at school, and I think Ronan's siblings are happy that I can finally be there with them, too.