Some people have the good fortune of always finding themselves in the right place at the right time – winning the lottery, running into famous people in a random hotel lobby, hitting all the green lights on a cross-town trip.
Unfortunately, that has never been the case for anything I have ever experienced.
Or ever written.
Or even mildly suggested.
As a mom, when I was “in the weeds” of my parenting days, being a “mom” wasn’t nearly as “cool” (read=blogworthy) as it appears today.
In fact, in my earliest parenting days, there were no blogs.
There were no online resources.
There was no Facebook, or Twitter stream to generate daily banter that candidly made light of baby barf, the color of poop, and how a lack of sleep turns seemingly endearing mothers into Darth Vader-esque heathens.
In fact, in my parenting hey-dey, I worked full-time, commuted a gross daily amount, and was running hither and yon to get dinner on the table, assist with award-winning solar system projects and if I had a spare 30 seconds, Sexy Hubby and I might get a chance to hug while passing in the hallway.
I was barely able to pick my children up from daycare on time, let alone offer enough daily support to a child beyond my own. I helped in the classroom when I was able, but those treasured moments were few and far between.
That being said, times are different now. Both communally, and in my own humble home.
Parents of all stages can find support simply by logging onto the Internet, where endless streams of moms (and dads!) are offering daily support via blogs, parenting groups or social media daisy-chains. What I used to find haphazardly via a book or random magazine article is now delivered effortlessly to your “In-Box.” It’s a wonder any parent today doesn’t immediately feel a part of something larger than themselves. From conception to college, there’s a blog waiting to divulge the various “How-To’s” to awaiting parents world-wide.
Since our last remaining chick doesn’t spend much extra time in the nest and I work from home, which completely eliminates a need to operate a motor vehicle most days, I have time. Plenty of time – which coincidentally can feel quite suffocating, forcing me to find random tasks to fill the void.
After lamenting over how much I miss my young children, a friend with school-aged children suggested I become a mentor.
Me? A Mentor?
After some soul-searching, I took my friend’s gentle advice and decided to donate some of my new-found time to a family in need, specifically, a child who needs additional support, and someone to share one-on-one time.
Someone to play games, or help with homework, or lend an ear.
After nearly two decades of parenting, today, I will give back. I am proud to become part of “the village” it takes to raise confident, self-assured, fledgling members of society.
I am grateful for the opportunity to become a mentor. In years past, I would have flippantly wondered what mom has the time, desire or inclination to help a child beyond her own. Yet, if I can make a difference for one child, one mother, one family, then my parenting years will not have been in vain, and thus, the “circle of giving” will go on.
Today, I join the team of CAP of Bozeman:
The Child Advancement Project (CAP), was established in 1989 and matches nurturing community volunteers who provide support and encouragement to children grades K-12.
These mentors work one-on-one with children to increase academic and social competency and to enhance opportunities for academic challenge. They help students establish meaningful goals and develop a belief in their individual uniqueness and their ability to shape their own futures. Their efforts complement those of the teacher and the family.
Let the mentoring begin.