Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Rant on Disdain

A few days ago my fellow Romance Diva Kristen Painter posted on her blog about things that tick her off.

I have no trouble thinking of things that tick me off, for instance: rude people, religious intolerance, plagiarism...I have a new one to add to my list now.

I'm not sure what to call it - maybe disdain isnt' the right word. High-handedness perhaps? Smugness? Maybe you can tell me what word fits best.

Here's the scenario. I've been putting some time in working with DD's winterguard team. I'm the treasurer because someone had to take over from the old treasurer whose daughter graduated last year. I run the monthly bake sales, I'm helping out with some tweaking to the show costumes, and when the guard needs something and DD calls me from practice with a request, I go and see if I can help.

I'm not sure why this makes me a fool, but I'm tired of people acting like I'm some sort of idiot for giving of my time. I was telling someone yesterday about my quest to find bright colored silk flowers to make hair combs for the girls. The guard coach wanted there to be a little more color and I suggested a bright yellow flower for their hair. Since most of the girls have dark hair and the costume is in muted autumn colors, a brilliant flower would make a nice contrast. Yesterday I was going out looking for supplies. When I told someone this, the response was, "Well, you got suckered into that, didn't you?"

Excuse me?

Helping my daughter in her chosen extracurricular activity is 'suckered in?' I'm sorry, did I miss something? This from a person who organized the entire fund raiser for Project Graduation the year her child graduated high shcool, and he didn't even attend the event! She worked like a dog to raise money so the class could spend an evening dancing and eating and not driving around drunk as teeangers will do, and that was 'something she had to do.' But I'm a 'sucker' because I'm out at the craft store picking up some silk flowers? Or because I was asked to hem one of the costumes and I did it, or because the girls needed ice packs and I went out and got them, or because I actually show up at the bake sales with bakes goods and sell them?

Please, really, what did I miss? Has it become passe and uncool to put time in for your kids now? I realize a lot of parents can't participate. They work long hours, have several children, not a lot of money and are sometimes just too damn exhausted to help out. I know the feeling and I don't begrudge them. I was never a class mother, I've respectfully and permanently retired from participating in general school fundraisers because they annoy the crap out of me, but when my kids WANT to be involved in something that requires some parental input, I will do it. Not because I love it, and I thought, not because I'm some kind of fool who should be home on the couch watching television and using an extracurricular activity like free baby sitting, but because I thought it was part of my job as a parent.

So why the disdain? Or whatever it is?


Kristen Painter said...

That's just uncool that someone would make that comment to you. Sounds to me like they're either trying to make themselves feel better or they're feeling like they didn't get enough recognition for what they did and now anyone else who does something helpful shouldn't get any recognition either.

I think it's awesome that you're helping out like you are! Honestly, it's that kind of parenting that makes fabulous kids. You rock. Keep on rocking! (in the free world! Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Thanks, Kristen. I will keep rocking - in fact I just finished those hair combs and they came out really cute. I hope they look good for the next performance.

Eden Bradley said...

I have to agree with K. People will be bitter about anything. I think it's wonderful to see parents so involved with their kids-something which happens less and less these days. You're setting a good example for your child, and letting her know she's important to you. Bravo!