This past fall, I agreed to coordinate an art competition for my son’s elementary school. The oversight of this program included working with school staff, budget mapping, recruiting volunteers and judges, event planning, marketing, public speaking, and data management. Some may say, “But it’s for kids, right? Small scale?” I suppose. However, I think of kids as our most important shareholders in a way, so the stakes were high in my mind. Oh, and by the way, I’m not actually the “artistic” type. So the project management piece of this was just fine, but the actual getting-kids-jazzed-about-art was something that I hadn’t thought about before signing on. Yet with all of that, what concerned me most was whether I still had my grown up chops. I’m talking about being able to hold my own and remain verbally agile in adult dialogue over a multi-month project.
For the past 7 years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom with two young boys (by choice, and I love it). So most of my days are spent discussing the merits of dinosaur vs. oval shaped chicken nuggets or perfecting my living room fort building skills. I talk kid-speak constantly. When spending time with adult friends, I’ve accidentally reverted to my mommy-mode and announced I needed a “potty check.” My husband has greeted me with “Hi, Tara,” and I have responded on auto-pilot with “Hey, buddy.” I perpetually walk around with my hair in a wet knot while clothed in semi-clean jeans and a fleece top.
So entering into this project, I was a little nervous. What if I asked a professional photographer if her dinner was “nummy” ? Or what if I ended a talk with the principal by saying, “Sure thing, big guy.” These things just spray out of a stay-at-home parent’s mouth like a geyser. (more…)