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How did I get here?

The ride is finally coming to an end. Maybe. Kind of. The wheels are still going, but I see the track is running out.

It's the morning of our annual carnival, hosted by our PTA. It signals the end of the school year, and yet, there is still so much work to do. Faced with the prospect of our PTA dying and dismantling, our PTA president reached out to the district adviser and council president, as demanded by the bylaws.

This should be interesting.

I've been involved with our PTA for the past 3 years. I remember quite clearly, as my daughter entered kindergarten at her school, the images that sprang to mind at the first flyer from the PTA. "Ice Cream Social! All are welcome!" I cringed for two reasons: 1) I am NOT a social person. Well...I'm selectively social. Which leads me to 2) the thought of throngs of parents, jockeying for position as I've read about in almost every blog, parent article, and even talking to fellow parents in other school districts. I have no interest at all. I chucked the flyer and thanked my lucky stars that I *oops* couldn't get out of working that night. "Sorry, it's iPhone launch season! Blackouts, can't request any time off."

Then came Donuts with Dad and the Father's Walk. I think I found out about that the day before the event via a flyer stuffed in the kiddo's communication folder. I told my husband, and he was able to attend, but just barely. I resolved to put my big girl pants on and go to the next meeting, if nothing else, than to be a bit more informed about events at the school. Just because I worked from home, didn't mean that I could write my own schedule (at least back then).

What I found when I went was quite a surprise. No throngs of parents; instead, the cafeteria had maybe 20-30 people. There were sign-up sheets (mostly blank) and fairly friendly and normal-looking people. I relaxed a bit. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. There were a few open positions on the board, including *shudder* membership chair. The spreadsheet thing wasn't so bad, it was more the prospect of actually having to talk to complete strangers, putting on my "retail" persona to get them to join and get involved.

It took me several meetings to get up the nerve to inquire about the membership chair position. At that point, all it really entailed so late in the year, was exactly what I could handle: the Excel spreadsheet. I volunteered for a few more things: Book Fair, Carnival, bringing snacks to meetings, things like that. It took me almost that whole year to really feel comfortable, due to my own social anxieties.

The following year followed a somewhat similar, slightly escalating path: a little more involvement, the official recognition of my role as membership chair, more paperwork. Still, quite manageable. At the end of that year, our PTA had some major changes in leadership. Some parents had kids that were moving on to the middle school, others had reached the maximum of 2 years in a board position. I was asked to take over as corresponding secretary. Just printing flyers (most of which, all I had to do was change a few details like dates and times), making copies, putting out the sandwich board sign to announce events. It sounded like it was perfect, and I could still be membership chair as well, since that wasn't much work for me.


(to be continued)