We had the pleasure of accompanying LittleBrother on his Kindergarten field trip yesterday.
I don’t have a good track record with field trips. On BigBrother’s Kindergarten trip to the pumpkin patch, a little girl raised her hand in the back of the bus and proceeded to tell me that another little boy called her “gay.” My jaw dropped as I looked at him. He didn’t care. He leveled his gaze at me, daring me to call him on it. Shocked and unsure of what to do, I suggested we play “I Spy.” On BigBrother’s first grade field trip, a child that would come to bully my son later in the year mouthed “I hate you” to the side of my face because I dared to sit with my son on the bus. Add in the crazy noise and chaos that come with young elementary school students out of their routine and element, and I’m not sure why I still continue to go on these trips.
Other than this: I love seeing my sons in their own space, with their own friends, doing their own thing.
Yesterday I watched LittleBrother chat with his friends. I watched him run in a field after eating his lunch. I watched him be kind to other students. I watched him interact with his teacher, and his teacher basically won my heart over for her patience and love of a busy little class.
Of course, he knew I was there, he knew his Daddy was there, so I’m sure that changed his school personality “norm” a bit. But in the times that he forgot I was there, I watched him just be himself. That’s pretty cool.
Also pretty cool: When he’d walk up beside me in line and grab my hand. When he asked to sit between the two of us on the bus on the way to the pumpkin patch. When he offered me his Capri Sun straw after he finished his drink because I dropped mine on the ground. When he told me he loved me — in front of his friends. He still likes us. A lot. I like that. A lot.
Maybe it was the special aspect of having both parents’ attention all to himself without his older brother there, but I swear that LittleBrother was just glowing with happiness and love and joy and all the excitement a nearly six-year-old can muster.
Other than feeling slightly bus-sick on the way to the pumpkin patch (and partially deaf, because Kindergarteners), the field trip ranked as the Best Field Trip Ever. I enjoyed interacting with some of the other kids, finding myself befriended by a few new little friends. No one called anyone any horrid names or slurs. No one stared me down. No one told me they hated me. There was maybe a slight animal poo incident, but hey, I grew up in the country on a farm; ain’t no thang. I walked LittleBrother back to his classroom after we got back to the school, and he hugged and kissed me goodbye. As I walked back to the car, I smiled, feeling overwhelmed with thankfulness for a good teacher, a great set of classmates, a kid who absolutely loves school, and a partner who braved a loud bus with me.
I’m so glad that I didn’t let the previous two not-so-great field trips keep me home. Yesterday made me excited for future field trips (but I’m taking ear plugs and wearing some motion sickness bracelets, because, whoa).