Or, this is a story about a mom of a middle school girl. Either way, it works.
My very good friend JDub is awesome. She is the mom to three kids, a dog, and sometimes, her husband Vitamin P. She's never met a fleece she didn't like, has been known to create school projects out of thin air (and her underwear drawer...it's a long story), and is the queen of Papa Murphy's.
She's less snarky than I am, but that's probably good. You see, she's an involved parent. How involved, you ask? Last year she was the only employee at her school to not get paid.
JDub and Vitamin P send their kids to private Catholic school. And with this comes parental involvement like I've never seen. I think I'm Mom of the Year when I volunteer in Hoover's class once a month? She drives for field trips and gives teachers cash for Christmas. If there's a group at school, she's not only in it, but running the meetings (unwillingly), in charge of the pancake breakfasts or monthly carnival fun fairs, and has Vitamin P manning the booths she can't get to. Because she's too busy calling the cake walk.
(You get the picture, right?)
This year, something traumatic has happened to her.
Her daughter aged out of safe, private, parental-involvedness Catholic school and has gone to middle school.
And for some reason, they haven't asked JDub to come along.
So when JDub saw a flier for a Middle School Parent's Support Group, she put it on her calendar and notified her husband. A group! For parents! To help them navigate these scary, hormonal-filled waters. Just what she was looking for!
I didn't know any of this until I called her Monday. OJ, the middle-schooler in question, answered the phone.
Me: Hey, where's your Mom?
OJ: At a meeting.
Me: Of course she is!
(OJ will be taking over this blog someday, I'm sure. To JDub's excitement, I'm sure.)
I knew this couldn't be an important meeting, as she had just replied to a thread on Facebook 2 minutes earlier. So I called her cell phone.
|If it really isn't that kind of support group, can we at least start a book club and discuss this book?|
She answered and told me she was at the middle school waiting for this meeting to start, and telling me what kind of meeting it was.
I started laughing.
She was not amused.
"You just wait. When your kids hit middle school..." her threat trailed off.
I apologized and told her to have fun at her meeting.
(I also told her that if the meeting room wasn't full of liquor, she was wasting her time. She agreed.)
And honestly, I felt a little bad that I had made fun of her going to a support group for parents of middle schoolers. I guess I didn't realize just how traumatized she was.
(I should have known though, after the epic tale of OJ trying to open her locker was told in a three-part mini-series.)
I talked to JDub yesterday, where she had an update for me.
The support group she attended, which her husband also came to, as well as her former boss Bitch Face, wasn't really a support group.
It was a group that SUPPORTED the middle school. With fundraisers. And activities. And had a treasurer.
She said she was never so happy to NOT have raised her hand with an issue she was currently experiencing.
(I joked that it could have been like, "Hi, I'm JDub, and I have a middle schooler. It's been 3 days since I last intercepted an eye roll.")
After the shock of not having group therapy set in, she and Vitamin P participated in the meeting. Where they talked about fundraising and ideas to get parents involved in school.
She didn't share this part with me, but I swear at this point, I bet she and Vitamin P looked at each other in disbelief. What? Parents don't get involved normally?
While JDub was trying to explain to the rest of the group what a cake walk was, Vitamin P asked if it would be okay if he came to eat lunch with OJ, like he had done at private Catholic school.
Apparently, no one had ever asked before.
After the meeting, where JDub was made president, she went home and reflected on the meeting.
And started looking for the REAL support groups. And people volunteering to spot her a couple of Xanax.
It's going to be an interesting year for them.