Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saying Yes

I am president of a local chapter of a writing group. You don't need any sort of credentials to be president, hence, they asked me. Or begged, rather. I could have been a cab driver who walked in off the street and they still would have asked me.

All I had to do is say, YES, I'll do it, and then do my presidential duties and then become the secretary/treasurer when that person moved to Kansas. Ah, the perils of saying yes. If you say yes to one thing, it often gets you on a road to saying more yeses. What a can of worms. Anyone who knows me well knows I should have nothing to do with handling an organization's money. Or handling money, period.

Reward: I get to meet fascinating writers from all over the state who have much wisdom to impart to a novice writer like me.

I said, yes, I'd volunteer in my daughter's kindergarten class on Thursday mornings. Now that Leah is aware of what day it is, she knows if I don't show up. She lets me have it. "Mama, you forgot to come," she says in a Cindy Lou Hoo voice that makes me feel about a foot tall. Kids'll do that to you.

Reward: I got to help Jimmy learn the difference between quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Before that, he thought everything was a penny. It was great to see the lightbulb go on.

I said yes I'd be the Cub Scout Wolf Leader. Every Monday I have to entertain a literal pack of 8-year old boys, who sometimes get very sweaty, smelly and bloody. For an entire hour!
Then they ride home in my car and I have to roll the windows down when it's 20 degrees outside.

Reward: I get to be with my son and his friends and help him pass off his requirements that will turn him into an upstanding young man. (We can hope.)

At parent teacher conference, I asked a very pregnant Mrs. Miller how I could help her for the last semester of third grade. She said she needed help with writing. Somehow that morphed into an eight-week play project put on in three acts that the children wrote themselves that I was in charge of. Somehow for an hour a week my group of third graders fight and argue about what lines they will say and who is hurting/maiming who! "He sat on my head!" one of them complained yesterday. It's a most headache-inducing experience for everyone involved, it seems.

Reward: I have yet to think of one. Well , maybe that the kids think it's the coolest thing ever to put on their own play, to have ownership of something. And I feel justified in taking ibuprofin and drinking a huge diet coke when play practice is over for the day.

I said yes to my daughter that I would take her to the DMV to get her driver's permit on a Friday afternoon. We got to stand in line with the most unpleasant people imaginable.

Reward: Now she can drive with me in the car? Some reward! One of her best friends just took out her fence trying to park the car. Sheesh.

So even though I told my daughter who thinks I never say yes that she could have a party this weekend where I would make dinner for her and her friends, deep breath, because no one can come to the party, she says I never say yes to anything. So I am trying to think of something else to say yes to. She wants me to stay home tonight, but I can't, I have to go to a dinner with her Dad. Sheesh again.

What am I going to say when Mrs. PTA lady asks me to help with the school carnival? Or when three different kids want to sign up for T-ball, machine-pitch baseball and girls softball? Yes, yes, yes, of course! Whatever you want. My goal in life is to facilitate everything your heart desires!

I've turned into a total pansy.

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