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This week I got invited to the Smart Cookie Awards, hosted by Cookie Magazine. I was excited because Cookie is a cool, stylish parenting magazine and because I would finally be able to wave my Smart Cookie award in my husband’s elitist Emmy winning face and show him he’s not the only star around here.

Of course, I didn’t actually win a Smart Cookie award but I hoped he’d be too drunk by the end of the evening to notice such a minor detail.

So who did win? Women whose maternal instincts to love, nurture and protect have gone way beyond their own families, as they’ve reached out to help mothers and children across the globe. Debra Messing, Uma Thurman, Judy Woodruff and Salma Hayek were among the winners.

Salma Hayek was not there to accept her award which was actually a bit fortuitous because she’s Rick’s celebrity crush who long ago, I gave him a free pass to hook up with. You know, not thinking that he might actually run into the actress one day.

Maybe she skipped this awards ceremony to avoid instigating marital strife between Rick and me. Or maybe she just had a scheduling conflict.

All the winners highlighted their nonprofit organizations and it made me feel pathetic because I’ve totally given up volunteering since becoming a mom.

I think I first started volunteering in my twenties because some knucklehead told me it would be a good way to meet single guys.  But I quickly realized all the guys were at the sports bar watching the game, and not teaching senior citizens macramé.

Despite the lack of eligible men, I still volunteered a great deal. But then I  lost my good deed mojo once I had a crying baby at home. Now I realize, I need to get my arse back in gear.

At the Cookie ceremony, I was particularly touched by the work of Unicef, an organization trying to prevent mothers and babies from dying of tetanus in remote parts of the world.

One of the organization’s honchos told a story about a baby who was dying of tetanus and could have been saved by medication costing less than two dollars. Instead, he lay alone dying because tetanus makes you very sensitive to light and touch, so his mother couldn’t even hold him as he passed away.

That is just unacceptable. By getting vaccines to these places, tetanus could be eliminated within 5 years.

I seriously had tears rolling down my face through the whole ceremony as each of the seven winners talked about their causes… including the homeless, youth AIDS and children with birth defects. And I’m not the crier in this family. Just ask Rick. Oh wait, he’s sobbing through a surprisingly emotional “30 Rock.” He’ll get back to you.

After the ceremony, I felt like I had been cleansed em0tionally. I absolutely promised myself to start volunteering again. Because someday, I want one of those Smart Cookie awards. Or an Emmy. Or maybe a stained mug that says, “World’s Best Mom.” I realize I need to be flexible.

mama bird notes:

spotamomI was spotted by 1-800-flowers.com! The company sent me a beautiful, fair trade certified bouquet. And just in time for Mother’s Day. How sweet. Thank you.

If you order from 1-800-flowers.com, you can get 15% off with this coupon code: SPOTAMOM.

I made the the Moms at Work virtual nightstand at the Orlando Sentinel! I’m so honored. Thank you so much.  Click here to check out what else they’re reading.

Finally, if you are following my 23andMe journey, here’s an excerpt from my latest post: Does My Baby Have Down’s Syndrome?

“When I was pregnant for the first time, I was sort of clueless about all the tests involved. When my doctor first mentioned the Nuchal scan, I had never heard of it. But it sounded like a good idea….”

To read more, visit 23andMe.

30 Responses to i want to be a smart cookie

  • stoneskin says:

    When you have kids it makes these things seem even more terrible. I mean, they’ve always been terrible, and there are some charities doing great stuff, but it really hits home for me now in a new way, a way that hurts inside a lot more.

  • Ann's Rants says:

    Our pediatrician takes working visits to Africa and tells stories about people walking for DAYS to get just one of the vaccines we get at a check up.

    Please tell me that staying at home counts as volunteering. And how about blogging? I do that for free! 😉

  • I’m with Kristen on this one. I kinda of see you as super-mom…leaping over buildings and scattered legos in a single leap! But hey, the 23andMe thing is an awesome thing you’re doing…educating thousands! That’s no small feat, sweetie!

    At least I don’t feel so bad now, that since having The Little Imp, I’ve really become an uber-slacker instead of uber-mommy! I need to up my game!

  • Chris says:

    Volunteering is soul food. I’ve had seasons where I simply couldn’t do more than care for my own tribe and keep all the plates spinning, but when I enter seasons of “balance” [ha!], I’m seeking my soul food. Glad you’re inspired and motivated!

  • Jennifer says:

    Now both you and Nicholas Kristoff have got me feeling majorly guilty for abandoning my volunteering days. That’s a good thing. Loved this post. I need to get back into it, either by sponsoring a child or working with an group like Unicef. I totally take for granted how fortunate we are. AND Eric was openly drooling over his celeb crush (uh huh, Salma) on 30 Rock last night. Salma certainly knows how to work those boobs!

  • Things like the tetanus story and hearing about mosquito nets which cost a dollar but would save lives makes me want to help, but I don’t know what to do. Start something… and we’ll join in. You’ll get the awards for sure if you start a bloggers save the world charity thingamajig!

  • E says:

    Salma’s got nothing but a few cup sizes on you. We used to take the kids to public nursing homes to hand out treats and smiles and have done some home visits. An awesome way to include the family. I just signed up to work with Border Babies again b/c like you, I realize just focusing on your own kids is kinda narrow. You’ll find lots of opportunities in Rye! 🙂

  • I think the Junior League might have found their newest recruit. 🙂 Go get ’em, Kelcey. We all think you’re a smart cookie anyway. Maybe you could just frame that and call it good.

  • Cookie Magazine always makes me feel very frumpy and messy. Their moms are always wearing spotless white capri pants while chasing a chubby toddler around a $5,000 crib. Good eye candy – but I can’t always relate.

    And you are right about men volunteering. I think they do like to volunteer as much as women – but they usually pick causes involving hammers, not lanyards.

  • scrappysue says:

    volunteering rocks. i do a lot of street collections. i used to do 2 hour standing in one spot watching ppl not making eye contact! now i’m a workin’ gal, i do ONE – it all helps!!!

  • PAPA says:

    Off to look up what Macrame is???

    Also, I’m totally with Rick on the Salma Hayek thing..in fact, don’t tell Rick but the reason she wasn’t there was because…
    oh yea, i said I wouldn’t say anything…

  • MommyTime says:

    I have been trying to come up with ways to get my kids into some kind of volunteering effort with me. They are very young, so it’s hard to find something they could reasonably do — but I do think it’s important to help children see the value of helping other however they can. Thanks for this reminder.

  • Lanie says:

    You have been volunteering a long time – remember STAIR? And, you are a smart cookie in my book. Great post!

  • Jaclyn says:

    I have been feeling the same way. Particularly with regards to the unicef stuff too. I am a nurse and was wondering how I could do clinics, gather supplies…something. Between working, having a toddler and husband it gets tough. For now, I switched from the costco diapers back to pampers cause at least those diapers get a vaccine over there. I wonder what else I can do? If I lived in NYC we could totally organize something!

  • I can totally relate! Since becoming a mom I haven’t had time for anything. I keep saying I’m going to volunteer, and work-out and so and so on… I think I just need to enjoy the precious time that I have with my daughter, because she’ll only be young once.

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kelcey kintner