Sunday, June 28, 2009

Field Trips

I don't like school field trips. In fact, I think I'm allergic to them. I usually have nightmares the night before a school field trip and I stress about it constantly during the days prior. What about if my kids get lost? How about if they get hurt? If the bus crashes, it will be my fault for letting them go! I know, it's insane and dark but that's just the way my brain works! I have tried to work on this fear for a long time but I couldn't even bring myself to chaperon the field trips - I would do the next best thing: send Daddy along to watch! I don't think I've ever accepted out loud that I have a "field trip" phobia but now that I've confessed, I feel a lot better :-)

Things have changed for me (apparently!) since we moved to Seattle. Hey, I'm the one without a job (yeah, right!), so it's assumed that I'm the one going on the field trips with the kids....besides, I'm a "stay at home mom" so I have nothing better to do and apparently no other choice either! Well, my take on the field trip experience has changed a bit (still have nightmares) because the nature, and I say NATURE again, of the trips here are related to nature (parks, beaches, lakes) and are in nature, well, a learning experience for children and adults alike. In the past year and 1/2 I've been to a water processing plant, observed birds in the wild, pulled blackberry plants out of a field, visited a pumpkin farm, played at the park (s), visited an "urban pond" and checked out the low tide at the nearby beach. For a city girl, this is quiet a record for "nature" encounters. Let's not forget also the very evolved experience of watching the Nutcracker Ballet with a preschool class (at a real theater) - impressive!

On that note, let me clarify that Victor IS, by far, the king of field trips - not only does he go once but twice sometimes (he is in the same classroom with two different groups - loooong story) - and he leads the way for the rest of us in enthusiasm and excitement over the adventures each trip represents for him. Of course, Frankie tags along to most of Victor's field trip and he's become the "class mascot" at this point. He went from being Victor's little brother to being recognized as Frankie by both classes. They welcome him to join the group and actually expect his company. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that the tables turned and it was Victor who joined Frankie on a field trip with his preschool class. Frankie was delighted to bring his brother along and show him his teachers and his friends. Victor became "Frankie's Big Brother" to Frankie's classmates and he did act like such, following Frankie around and making sure he stayed out of trouble. We played in the playground and had lunch together and at the end of the field trip these two were now on equal terms - Frankie had allowed Victor to join HIS adventure and it was a fun experience for all.....including me.

Victor and Frankie exploring the low tide at Richmond Beach

Victor and Frankie playing at the park during Frankie's recent field trip.

No comments: