What can a role model give you?
A love for baseball and an unshakeable allegiance to a frequently-disappointing team. A zen-like approach to spackling, priming and painting. The ability to read a map and get somewhere I’ve never been before. A lifelong desire to do what needs to be done, volunteer, and help others. A knack for parallel parking despite my height-challenged state. The capacity to make decisions for myself and stand on my own two feet. A deep appreciation of the value of family, loyalty, and friendship. The urge to dig in the dirt and make things grow. The knowledge that, despite their stinger-like bodies, dragon flies can’t hurt me. The sense to read between the lines and know not everyone speaks the truth. An appreciation for the genius of a great punch line. The knowledge that girls can indeed beat boys. The ability to talk to anyone about anything absolutely anywhere anytime. The value of a well-told story as a great teaching lesson. The certainty that a dinner of basil-laced tomato sauce over al dente spaghetti, crusty bread, hearty red wine, and pignoli-filled meatball is the perfect comfort food. A belief in my ability to learn. The confidence to talk “Car” with a mechanic. The value of saving regularly, shopping smartly, and giving generously. The courage to tackle home improvement projects. A joy in the undervalued humor of a well-crafted pun. The importance of saying, “I was wrong” and “I’m sorry.” The value of knowing when to hold them and when to fold them. An ability to laugh at my mistakes. A drive to aim high and try hard. A great example of what a good person is and does. That’s what they gave to me–my Dad and uncles and male cousins and brothers, the men of my childhood.
The value of an interested, caring adult in a child’s life is indisputable. For a little girl, the act of a male caring enough to take time to talk, volunteer, and get involved in your life is precious. The male influences in my life shaped me into the woman I am: a lifelong volunteer with a passion for PTA. Those male role models worked through me to shape my sons into the men they are today—the passionate, volunteering, and green-thumbed son who work with children and the baseball-loving, meatball-perfecting, punch-line-perfect son finishing college.
Please join me in supporting PTA’s Million Hours of Power campaign so that more men will be encouraged to get involved and shape a child’s life. Vote every day at the Pepsi Refresh Project. Your support can help PTA do even more to get more men involved.
Deborah Walsh is a mother, former Connecticut State PTA President and currently the National Service Manager for the National PTA.