On February 23rd, I had the privilege of working in the Family Room at Montgomery County's Catholic Charities office. The opportunity to do this was offered to me by an amazing woman that I work with at the after school program I coordinate. When she proposed this opportunity to me, I asked her to explain a little bit of what she does at Catholic Charities and what exactly is the Family Room. She explained to me that not only does she work at the after school program, but that she holds many titles for Catholic Charities. These include educating local school children about bullying, peer pressure, and substance abuse. A new position she has earned is director of the new Family Room. The Family Room is a resource for children and parents. This space allows for room for children to play along with space and resources for parents to take advantage of. The children have access to a multitude of toys and games, while the parents have access to a food pantry and supportive staff who provide many services to them.
From the time I entered the door until the moment I left, I had a blast! I arrived before any families arrived and was able to see and learn a lot about the space and Catholic Charities. Shortly after, the families began arriving. Since I had my crown and sash on, many of the children were staring at me. After the children settled in with the toys of their choice, I approached and asked if I could play too! The first response I received was, "YES!!!" Shortly after I sat down on the floor, which in a skirt and five inch heels is a challenge, I received my first question from a five year old.
"So what are you, some kind of princess?"
I explained that that is exactly what I am and that the blocks that she was playing with are to build my castle. So we built a castle! That stood for approximately 2 minutes until the dragon attacked it and knocked it down! Although a dragon attacked my castle, the children quickly began to warm up to me, and as soon as that happened, I had about 5 little ones attached to my hip.