Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Going on a Field Trip

I'm going on a junior high field trip. I'm not sure what got intro me, or what happened to my sanity. When Eddie came home with the permission slip for me to sign, there was a check box for "I would like to go as a chaperone."  What the heck. I've gone on field trip with my other boys, but never with Eddie, so I marked it.  And then I forgot all about it. 

Two days ago, I got a phone call from a desperate junior high teacher, acknowledging that it was short notice, but was there any way I could come and help out?  Sure!   I can hang out with a few kids for a few hours. Surely I'm capable of at least that much.

I made arrangements for my kindergartners, and planned to go. I packed my sack lunch (an apple and a handful of raisins and almonds), put on my best walking shoes (which isn't saying much), and got myself to the room at the junior high where the parents were meeting.   To my surprise, the room was packed. I didn't realize that there were six hundred and fifty seventh graders, all going on the same field trip...  with several other schools...  with THOUSANDS and thousands of kids.   I have fifteen to twenty in my group and we'll ALL be in a huge convention center and I have to keep track of them... for hours. I had no idea.

What have I gotten myself into?

We walked through the crowded hallways to the auditorium where the teachers tried to holler instructions over the din. In the crush to get out and load the buses, I was grateful for my height that allowed me to look over the heads of most of the kids.  I had to stop and look hard at the mob when I remembered that I have not grown a millimeter since eighth grade.  Today's view of head tops is the same scene I saw when I was in junior high.  No wonder I always felt awkward!

After inching forward in the bedlam, we finally got to the cheerfully yellow school buses, rumbling in long yellow lines. We jostled aboard like a herd of cattle.  What a fun and energetic adventure!
It turned out that there weren't assigned groups.  I just took a random bunch of kids and forged ahead.  My group of twenty got smaller and smaller until it was just Eddie and two girls.  Then I turned around and even they were gone.  I can't tell you how tempting it was to just grab a chair and put my feet up.  But I didn't.

I found my boy again, totally unconcerned that I had been hunting for him.  We found the other kids and made it back on the bus with the same amount we started with.  Amazing.

And we all had a good time.  I'll put my feet up for the rest of the day.

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