Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confessions of a volunteerholic {New Braunfels Photography}

Hello my name is a Lisa and I am a volunteerholic. There. I said it. That means I'm on the road to recovery, right? I'm a Girl Scout leader. I'm a PTA volunteer. When I attend various nonprofit meetings and there's a sign-up sheet. I can't fight the urge to write my name down. HOA newsletters -- done 'em. Spay/neuter clinics -- organized 'em. Homeroom phone trees -- got the ball rolling.

As I sit here to write my blog, the other half of my screen is taken up with pages of the yearbook I'm putting together for my daughter's elementary school. I said I would do it so I'm doing it right. Nothing but the best for my little girl.

My other daughter had her first middle school dance the other night and I couldn't resist writing my name on the volunteer list for that. I set up a little studio for the kids to have their portraits taken with their friends. I was nearly brought to tears, however, when they brought out the sign they made for me. I never expected a homemade sign with my business name painted in neon glow-in-the-dark paint to greet the kids who showed up for the spring dance. It was such a sweet surprise I had to snap of photo to share with you. Isn't it grand?

The evening flew by and time after time I was taken back to my own middle school years. They sucked. The awkward moments when I was sure everyone was staring at the big pimple on my nose and secretly laughing at me when I got that really bad perm. Or laughing at my feeble attempts to turn the "Wrangler" label on my jeans to "Jordache" because everyone knew that cool kids only wore Jordache. I learned recently that middle school sucked for everyone else as well. At my 20-year reunion the girl who laughed at me in 7th grade for wearing the same outfit twice in one week confessed she thought she was the biggest dork of all.

But these kids had fun. Yes, they were nervous a lot. They laughed at each other as much as they laughed at themselves. Many of the young ladies attempted to wear heals but most were barefoot by the end of the night. Their lipstick got smudged by their coke cans. I heard voices cracking from the young men and saw enough pimples to send the fine folk at Pro-Active running.

Twenty years from now, these kids will probably turn to one another and say middle school sucked. They'll remember the horrors of having their mom show up at the dance to pick them up wearing holey sweats and no make-up (saw that). They'll remember their mom dropping them off and using her licked finger to wipe pizza sauce off their face in front of all their friends (saw that too). They'll remember that they couldn't afford a new dress so they had to wear their older sibling's hand-me-downs. But I hope with the photos I took they'll also remember the fun -- the way they made a conga chain while dancing the Macarena, the way they danced the wrong steps in the line dance and stepped on each other's feet. I hope they remember that they laughed uncontrollably and went to the bathroom in groups of 10 to talk about who's going to ask whom to dance. And I hope they'll realize -- at least in that moment at the spring dance -- they were free to be a kid. And it won't seem so sucky after all.

Lisa On Location Photography


  1. The night before my 7th grade picture day, I was playing with my little sister and stuck a suction cup to the middle of my forehead. The next day i had a lovely red circle for everyone to see and laugh at. Yes, I'm not 20 years out yet, but middle school sucked and I have the picture to prove it. :-)

  2. LOL! That's great Amira! I love stories like that!