You’re probably wondering where I’ve been all week.
Oh, you’re not? It didn’t occur to you that my last post was almost a week ago? You didn’t miss me? You weren’t sick with worry that maybe something bad happened to me, like my hands were severed in an unfortunate band saw accident, thus rendering me unable to type and provide my unmatched wit and humor to the world?
I’ve actually been on vacation in Charleston, SC since Saturday, but I’ll tell you more about that later. For today’s post, I’d like to focus on how I’ve been spending my Thursday nights for the past five months leading a book club for people with developmental disabilities. I know, I’m a really good person, aren’t I? So caring, selfless, wanting to give back to the community…
That last part? Not true at all. I’m usually pretty self-absorbed and unaware when it comes to community issues and volunteering my time. It just doesn’t always occur to me that I can make a difference and really help people. Fortunately, it did occur to Will and he convinced me to volunteer at St. Louis Arc with him and lead a book club.
At first, I was not thrilled at the idea. The book club meets every Thursday night. Thursday is a really good TV night. End of discussion.
Will interpreted “end of discussion” to mean “sign me up anyway” and thus I found myself heading to Borders with him a few weeks later.
Even though I’ve had experience working with special needs kids in the past, I was a little nervous about interacting with adults with developmental disabilities. I didn’t know what to expect as far as their capabilities and personalities. Turns out, they’re a lot of fun.
There are five people in the book club, not including us, and each one of them seems genuinely happy to be there. They greet us with smiles and enthusiasm, ask us how our week was, and sometimes just exclaim “This is fun!” It’s really refreshing to be around people who can be so unabashedly appreciative of the moment. I think I might try to make a point to say “This is fun!” out loud more often.
Over the past five months, after reading everything from Curious George to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I’ve developed a fondness for Thursday nights (despite the fact that they no longer include The Office or Real Housewives) and for all of our book clubbers.
Tonight is our last book club, at least until the next session begins in the fall. I have to admit, it will be nice to have our Thursday nights back, but I’ll miss seeing our five new friends every week.
Moral of the story: Volunteering my time to help others was actually rewarding and an all around good time. I should do it more often. Next Thursday, when I’m at home laughing at 30 Rock, I’m going to try to remember to yell “This is fun!” I don’t care if my dog thinks I’m crazy.
Good for you Carlie. What is the age group? If you need any book recommendations I would be happy to make some suggestions. (in the fall)