a school fundraiser race includes costumes. Think San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers. A race notorious for its wild costumes and nudity. Wikipedia’s article on the footrace says, “Some come to run seriously, others to party.” And this is probably one of the tamest images I can find from this race.
Today was the third annual Fun Run at our school. As with most school fundraisers I have my issues with this one. I think it’s great that the school is encouraging physical activity. I think it’s great that they are using that as a motivator for students to get pledge donations to earn money for the school. It’s a wonderful idea. I just have to wonder how much money is spent on t-shirts for every child, the tie dye kits, and the “costumes.”
This was sent in an email to me from Parker’s room mom.
Our class color is YELLOW. We will be making tutus for girls and braided armband for boys. We are looking for volunteers who may be interested in helping. Please let us know if you can help!!
We are also looking for items below. Please let us know if you can contribute.
1/2″ elastic band
tulle (yellow or white)
3/8″ ribbon (Yellow and white)
Last year Parker’s class had plastic capes in their color, face paint, and colored hairspray. Gwen’s class had felt capes this year. I have to say Gwen’s cape was so much cuter than the cheap plastic tablecloth Parker wore last year. She asked me what I thought the S stood for. I suggested super fast. She reminded me her teacher’s name starts with S. Oh yeah.
While this is all fun it’s unnecessary and, dare I say, kind of stupid! Even with parent donations of materials, why are we doing this? The t-shirts dyed in different colors should be enough.
Luckily it was a nice day for running. In previous years it has been miserably hot. And the kids are decked out to the nines in junk they don’t need for running. Today is the second warmest day this week. Monday was gorgeous and hot. The rest of the week it has been cool and rainy. The rain went away and the sun came out for the fun run today. Temps were in the low 60’s when I picked up Gwen. The boys had already done their running earlier in the morning.
This year a flyer was sent home with a list of prizes offered to the students who raised the most money. All I can say is I hope those prizes were donated and not purchased with school funds. Raffle tickets were given to every student who brought in pledges. Gwen was a little upset she didn’t win anything.
I thought it was interesting that this year all the fun run hype centered around emails sent home every other day begging for help running the event. The kids were still able to practice running each Wednesday at lunch recess but even that didn’t seem to be heavily advertised. Parker always participated in the practices but this year he didn’t seem to care. Gwen’s class never practiced running. Ever. Hopefully those poor kindergarteners got flat donations rather than pledges per lap!
The other interesting part was that the teachers never sent the t-shirts home ahead of time. Normally the classes tie dye the shirts and the teachers send them home for me to throw in the dryer to finish the process. Not this year. My kids were told what their class color was. They were also encouraged to wear as much of that color as possible to show class spirit.
Unfortunately kids don’t typically have colored shorts or socks. Gwen was so concerned about what to wear this morning. Her color was dark blue. So I told her that her shirt didn’t really matter since she would wear her official fun run shirt at school. But she could wear blue jeans. I put blue ribbons in her hair.
Gavin was a little frustrated as well. His color was green. He doesn’t have anything green. St. Patrick’s day was hard to dress for. He wanted to wear his green jacket. I hope he didn’t run in it! The other kids had green bandanas from Outdoor Ed. Since he didn’t go he didn’t have a bandana. That’s a bummer. Parker found the perfect yellow shirt to wear. That he had to cover up with a tie dyed t-shirt. See? It’s just silliness I tell you.
Oh well. As long as the kids have fun I don’t care. Gwen said Blueberry came to visit and was giving her high fives. Who the heck is Blueberry? Not a Strawberry Shortcake character. That was my first guess! No, Blueberry is the school mascot. Who knew? This is what happens when a school gets a new principal every year. We finally land on a principal who arranges for someone to come dressed up in a cub costume to represent the school mascot.
She said some disturbing things that make me feel bad. Apparently she was the only student in her class without a parent watching. Color me a bad mom! My thought process was that I have three kids who were all running at different times. I have never gone to watch this event in the past so I wasn’t going this year. Plus, I got an email that said in no uncertain terms that only approved parent volunteers were allowed to watch. Yeah, I thought that was a little weird. I never bothered with the volunteer clearance forms this year because I knew I didn’t want to volunteer in my small two hour window of kid free time. I know. I’m a horrible mother.
It didn’t bother me that Gwen was laying on a thick guilt trip. What bothered me to no end was that a father asked her where her mom was. When she said she didn’t know and kept on running he yelled after her, “What, are you a foster child?” That ticks me off. A lot. It’s none of his business why she had no parents watching her run today. Her dad is on a business trip and I had other things to do. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her. Or my boys that I didn’t watch today either. What a jerk.
That is one thing I hate about living here. And really it’s probably not exclusive to this area. But I get tired of parents trying to make me feel bad because of how I choose to raise my children. My way is not wrong. My children will not end up in counseling one day nor will they go on a killing spree because I have scarred them for life emotionally for not watching them run around a field for money! Just saying.
The parents who move heaven and earth to watch every moment of their children’s school career is not wrong either. It’s just not how I choose to function as a parent. Heath and I decided before we had kids that we would not go to every single event in their lives. That’s how we were raised. We knew our parents loved us and were cheering us on even if they couldn’t be there. We learned to do our best regardless of who was or was not watching from the sidelines.