I received an extremely disturbing email from Adelaide's teacher last week.
It would appear that at the beginning of the school year- you know, back when I was fresh off summer vacation and believed I could learn to like doing things with large groups of children, aka completely insane- I signed up to help out with the Valentine's Day party in our daughter's class.
Once I got over the shocking message contained within that email, suppressed memories began misting back. I'm pretty sure I had blocked almost all traces of that fateful Back-to-School-Night to preserve my sanity in the intervening months. I now recall that by the time we got to Adelaide's classroom and had stocked her desk, met her teacher, etc, all the easy jobs like bringing drinks and napkins and themed-snacks had been fulfilled by parents who had already come and gone, leaving the stinker responsibilities like "games" for all the holiday parties.
Thankfully my friend Anne was also a latecomer that night, and is to be my partner in Valentine fun. I sent her a rather desperate and not totally coherent (I PANICKED, OKAY?) email right after I read the teacher's message stating I had signed up to coordinate games for 25 third graders for one hour. Honestly, even now a part of my brain is having trouble believing this, because this is just not like me. I'm not sure how I ended up this way, but I (usually) have little problem saying, "No, thank you," to people, and am not someone who feels pressure to say "Yes" to everything under the sun. This likely has less to do with strength of character than my hermit-like tendencies coupled with having strong female role models in my family who were not afraid to say what they thought. AND YET. Here I am, searching Pinterest for Valentine's Day party game ideas.
This is probably because I know that if she asked me to, I would organize games on a monthly basis for Adelaide's teacher. The way I've been carrying on since receiving her email you'd think Adelaide's school was some kind of displaced Gulag camp amid the Iowa cornfields. Of course it's a fine school, but that teacher is in there for hours upon hours with those little vectors (I just can't seem to shake my mom's pet name for children, no matter how I try), whereas I'm slated to be there for one measly little hour, after which I will stagger out the door and renew my prayers of thanksgiving for teachers, who will still be stuck in there.
Upon finding out he would be coming with me, Caedmon, however, reacted as if he had won the lottery. He cannot believe his good fortune: One whole hour? With Adelaide? At school?
Hmm. I put that gif up there to illustrate Caedmon's state of extreme excitement and anticipation, but I feel like it represents how I feel about the party pretty accurately, too, though for admittedly different reasons.