The parent volunteers’ prayer


To be invoked by all PTO parents, volunteer parents, and room mothers (and fathers and “significant others”) among us.
Dear God, grant me the strength to last through another fundraiser.
To see the inherent wisdom in overpriced gift wrap, waxy chocolate, and tie-dyed T-shirts in our school colors (even the smallest size of which will still reach my kindergartner’s knees).
Give me the energy to kneel on a frozen playground and detangle and re-tie some 47 shoelaces – often with my teeth. Further please grant me the willpower to refuse payment when some of the more gullible first graders accept it as gospel when I tell them I now charge a nickel for this service.
Grant me the wisdom to remember the name of the kids who greet me warmly without fail – like we are long lost pals or perhaps even related – each and every morning when I arrive to volunteer.
Never mind that my own son gives me only the briefest nod and a thumbs up to acknowledge that he does, in fact, know me. Although I thank you, Lord, for his amazing power of recall when he realizes he’s out of lunch money.
Lunch. Walk with me through the lunchroom. Over pounds of wasted food, picked-over pizza crusts, and empty ice cream cups. Deliver me from milk cartons that are apparently impenetrable by human hands.
Give me the courage to accept that sometimes you really can’t tell if a child who says “I don’t feel so good” is faking it or in imminent danger of projectile vomiting.
Guide me down the hall to the library where 20 tiny faces will peer over the edge of the counter and remain true to their resistance to ever really understanding what the whole borrowing and return theory entails, despite having done it regularly for some 27 weeks running.
Help me to stem the tears when we lament the fact that we have but one P.B. Bear’s Christmas to give to our country – or classmate – as the case may be.


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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.