Life is good when you’re 8 years old and it’s field trip day. On Friday the 13th, I had the pleasure of chaperoning my son – Quentin – on his class field trip to the N.C. Zoo. He woke at 5 a.m. because his excitement about the trip and anxiety about missing the bus couldn’t be contained any longer. I sent him back to bed and told him I’d get him up at 6 a.m. He did his best to stay quiet in his room and started opening his drawers to pull out clothes (including his “Awesomely Cool Brother” shirt). He descended the stairs and began planning what we should pack for lunch. Meanwhile, I’m still in my bed trying to sleep until 6 a.m.
Quentin is too smart for his own good and has inherited my aptitude for details. As I rise to get ready for the day, he’s shouting reminders and advice to me – don’t forget to park on the road, not in the bus circle; we have to be there by 7:15 a.m. or the bus will leave us; his friend, Nick, will be walking around with us; bring snacks for the bus ride home…it was never-ending.
The trip went well and we saw some cool animals. The polar bear was our favorite and we got to spend some time getting to know Nick. The trip home was stinky because 2nd graders don’t understand that when you pee and poo on a charter bus, it stays with you for the whole trip. After we got home, it was dinner time and Quentin and I ended up at Mi Patron to finish out our day.
It was fun to sit there across the booth from him and talk about all sorts of things. We talked about him possibly being invited to the Gifted Opportunity Center and items he wants to sell at the yard sale for Joel. One item in particular is his IKEA loft bed. He likes it but I think is getting tired of it. I told him he’d have to remove all the stickers that he’s decorated it with, and he started to stammer about his decision to sell it. I told him to keep thinking about it and that I would support his decision whichever way it landed. His heart is full of love and offered up his TV, some toys and books, and stuffed animals too. This boy can’t wait to have a brother!
Toward the end of our meal, I briefly imagined sitting across from Quentin ten years from now when he is 18. All I could do was smile. I am so proud of who he is and I will always treasure this field trip day with him. Parents, don’t underestimate the power of a school field trip to connect with your child. The trip may be full of excitement and anxiety, and may get a little stinky at times, but it’s invaluable time you’ll never regret. Take the time off of work and get out there to those school picnics, field trips, and field days!