Sunday, April 29, 2018

Why I Attend School Field Trips (Class Parties/Musicals/Open Houses/ Showcases/Celebrations/Ceremonies)

The bright yellow bus squealed to a stop. Doors opened and Wonder Boy popped out. Talker draped across his chest, aide close. “Are you ready to roller skate?” I said.

I attend field trips to be with my (grand)kids. But there are more reasons:

1. Because I Can.

Don’t call me “lucky”! My once-upon-a time role as at-home mother and now grandma Nonnie-on-the-Spot represents a family’s effort and resolve: purposeful, intentional, planned. Sacrifices were made. Lifestyles modified. Goals and ambition altered. It’s the hardest job I ever loved. Among the happiest perks of this challenging occupation? I’m first to greet joyful faces that emerge from buses at the end of the day. Flexibility to be present for successes, failures, tears, triumphs. And field trips!

2. To Meet My Child’s Friends.

Kids once played together after school. Rode bikes to one another’s homes. There was cutting through backyards, tapping on windows. Waiting on stoops until a buddy’s homework was done. There was public access to family phone numbers – and addresses! Now? It seems everyone has their own unlisted cell phone. Kids aren’t home as they split time between households or attend after school care. And when they are around? Kids watch TV in solitary bedrooms instead of rushing out to climb a tree. In a world of on-purpose play, field trips can help one keep up with how a child is doing socially.

3. To Connect with Teachers and Administrators.

This child with learning differences? This child with autism? This child who has been hurt? Who has just one involved parent? She is an intuitive, empathetic, sensitive overcomer who absorbs emotion, feeds on knowledge, uses imagination as a shield. He is bright, able, athletic and understands what you feel before he comprehends your words. This sometimes challenging, distractive child is interesting, unique, loving, loveable, smart and positively brimming with potential. This child is strenuously supported and wholly, deeply, perfectly loved.

The most important truths are often best relayed wordlessly; through one’s presence. During field trips, for example.


4. Create Memories.

I’ve picked pumpkins, bounced on trampolines, huddled in a balloon. Fed goats, bathed in corn, watched a lion nap, laughed at a curious monkey, ridden a streetcar, played in a treehouse, driven carts, climbed aboard a fire truck, sipped cider, explored, tasted, adventured, flown, danced, sang, jumped, slid, swam. And more. With my grandkids! How great is that!

5. Because it’s Fun!

Neon lights glittered on the smooth rink. Silver balls reflected shiny patterns. Wonder Boy shaded his eyes to view first one color, shape, sparkle, then another. Laughter, screeches and shouts echoed the sound of happy children roller skating.

I waited.

Wonder Boy moved his hand away from his face. He smiled. He reached for my arm and tugged.

I prompted, “Skate with me.”

“Skate with me,” he said.

Together, we circled the rink. Arm in arm. Front to back. Side to side. When offered a break, Wonder Boy said, “No! I want to skate more!”

So, we did.

And then? Ever making memories...I fell and broke my arm. The right side this time.  I'll be back!

*All photos by June. Thanks, June!

2 comments:

Charles Hedrick said...

I am glad that you can make time for these sorts of things, but try to keep from breaking body parts when you join in the activities, please!

sheri levy said...

Cindi, You are doing the most important things in your life right now! And you are still writing by adding these stories in your blog posts. When things slow down and your grands don't need your input--- as much!! You can be a writer full time!
Sending you hugs---