Growing up my mom always said to me, “Never say never!” It used to make me a bit crazy seeing as “to never say never” involves saying never. It was, however, a mantra in our house because as a teenager I was huge on using the word “never” in many of my declarations.
“I will never get married before I have a career!” (I was married at age 20 while still in college.)
“I will never tell my kids that they cannot do something just because I said so!” (I actually have a magnet on my refrigerator that says “Because I am the Mom and I said so!”)
“I will never force my kids to eat something they don’t like just because it is good for them!” (Come on! That one was easy to break. Just ask my kids.)
And then I became an adult. Suddenly, I began to use the word never more conservatively. However, there is one case in which I did say “Never!” and it has now come around full circle to bite me in the butt.
I am talking about my adamant stand I made 12 years ago when my firstborn started public school. I agreed to volunteer when they needed me but I would never become one of “those moms” who is always there and on the executive board. I would most definitely never, ever become someone like the PTA president. I said it. I meant it. I lived it.
It isn’t that I don’t like the PTA. I think they are an amazing group that does wonderful things for the school. It is more the fact that I have been on the receiving end of some rather vicious moms who liken the PTA to a militant group that will suck your soul right out of you if you get too close.
I was brave enough to step up in the last few years and serve on the board. I adore the president. She is fun, funny and a great leader. I could handle this. I mean, how hard could it be to just help out behind the scenes? I could be one of the few who helps the president in some small capacity when she needed. She deserved the help. But I would never have her job in a million years. I love her but she must be a special kind of crazy to take on that job!
In the past, after being burned more than once, I will admit to going as far as hiding from the PTA when I would hear their boots come clacking at me on the school tile and even going as far as throwing myself down and playing dead to avoid them. In all honesty, they scared me. They knew things. They knew your weaknesses. They knew where you lived. They knew your children. I likened them to the CIA only more powerful. So, of course, I would never be the president of that kind of group.
Yet, Mom’s words have come back to haunt me.
It is official now. I have been nominated and voted in as next year’s PTA president of my daughter’s elementary school. I am sure that Mom is laughing from heaven and at the irony. Where most people hear whispers in the trees when the wind blows, I hear Mom saying, “I told you so. I told you to never say never!” She had to have been right because it seems that when I put that phrase out there the world seems to hear, “Absolutely I will do that!”
So from now on, mark my words, I will never say never again!
(Well, maybe sometimes.)