Volunteers

by Marinka on March 16, 2009

One of the things that Husbandrinka and I have been wanting to do with our kids is volunteer work. Husbandrinka thinks that it was important for them to learn to give back to the community and grow up to be caring human beings and I think that it was a good idea for them to be someone else’s problem for a few hours each week.

Unfortunately we weren’t seeing eye to eye about the best volunteer opportunities for our children. Husbandrinka was thinking along the lines of helping the homeless and I was thinking of something less hardcore. I mean, the homeless are so…without a home. Isn’t that a little extreme for young minds? I mention this to Husbandrinka and he says, “Ok, so you want them to volunteer with people who feel that their apartments are too small?” which makes it sound like I am a small-minded person who doesn’t get the point of volunteer work, so I automatically become defensive. “You’re in love with someone else, aren’t you?” I ask him. “What are you talking about?” He says. “I didn’t hear a ‘no’,” I fume. “I’m not playing this game,” he tells me, but the great news is that he seems to have forgotten about the whole homeless thing.
So I asked my kids what kind of volunteer work they are interested in. My daughter said that she wanted to work with homeless animals. I’m not sure what kind of work she envisioned, perhaps we’d chase stray cats down the street. I asked, with great trepidation, if she would want to work with homeless people and she said no, animals were cuter. My son, in a testament to my parenting skills and the values that I’ve instilled in him, didn’t know what “volunteer” meant, but after I explained the concept, he said that he would be willing to teach underprivileged kids how to play the Wii.
Then my daughter had a great idea. She was going to knit hats and scarves for poor people. In Africa. Fuck.

Finally, Husbandrinka had it with these high level negotiations and signed himself up for the soup kitchen.

“Good for him,” my mama said. “He should see how the other people are live, to appreciate all that you have.”
“Exactly,” papa said. “And after the soup kitchen, he should go to morgue, to get more fuller appreciate.”
Five minutes later, mama called me in a state of alarm. “He knows not to eat the soup, right? It may be the poison.”
So now Husbandrinka is doing volunteer work. On behalf of all of us.  Because I’m still exhausted by the planning stages.

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