One Sunflower

real heroes

on January 25, 2011

Back in October, when the evenings were still light, and the weather not so damp, I dutifully volunteered to give Pedro a ride to his first Policy Council Meeting.  I was pleased to have found a parent representative for our classroom and didn’t want anything to be a barrier for his participation.  The meetings are held once a month in Bellingham, a 25 mile drive from Everson, in a part of the city that isn’t familiar to non-native residents.  Driving Pedro to the meeting was a simple solution to ensure his presence and our representation in the HeadStart community.

Pedro’s first meeting should have been back in November but that meeting was cancelled because of snow.  Then I had to cancel because of family issues in December. I really wanted to make sure nothing got in the way of his attending the January meeting.

I worked my regular day, drove back into Bellingham for a mammogram, then home for a quick bite and back out to Everson to pick up Pedro at 5. It rained all day, all afternoon, all evening.  Pedro doesn’t know much English so it was a silent drive.  I sat in the back of the meeting and knit – almost 12 inches on a sweater for my daughter! I was thankful for the knitting, I was bored out of my mind with the meeting and felt so sorry for Pedro, wearing a headset to hear the translation and probably fairly clueless about a lot of the content which involved some budget items from the fall and decisions about staff positions.

I appreciated what HeadStart is doing – involving parents in the policies and decisions that control and govern the agency and encouraging their awareness and participation in the education of their child.  But the format of the meeting isn’t really conducive to a novice really learning and understanding this governing body and how to be a part of it. I know that I will have to spend time with Pedro helping him make meaning of this responsibility he has volunteered for.

We were finally back in the car at 8:20, driving east in the dark and rain, silently.  I’m sure Pedro was as eager to end the evening as I was.

It is a good thing the drive was long because I spent the first 15 minutes congratulating myself on my martyrdom and the sacrifices I was making to insure Pedro’s participation in this venture.

Thankfully, the reality of the situation hit me over the head for the next 45 minutes of my drive to Everson and back again: this dedicated father had volunteered to participate in a function that was going to be frustrating and probablyvery boring for him but he is eager to help his children at school and believes that parent involvement is important.

So suck it up girl.  Go to bed early tonight and show up and do your best for this dad’s kid tomorrow. Because he’s certainly holding up his end of the bargain.

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3 responses to “real heroes

  1. Jenny says:

    I loved reading this post – wonderful to see a Dad putting in the hard yards for his kids despite challenges.

  2. Christy says:

    The shift in your tone at the end of this slice was so startling, it jarred me from passively reading to being overcome with a swell of emotion. It is clear you will do your best for Pedro’s daughter, you already are doing your best, because even after giving of yourself, you took time to appreciate what Pedro was giving. You reflected and used this experience as fuel to do even more. That makes you a real hero too.

  3. So well written, Amelia. I felt like I was there with you and Pedro. And, yes, the aha moment at the end of the post was heroic.

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