Thursday, March 7, 2013
Ode to the Last Field Trip
Today was the last field trip I will go on with my children. No I am not anti-field trip...my son is in 5th grade, and this is it. They have one more, the zoo, but my husband does that one.
I can remember the first field trips to the pumpkin patch or the grocery store. This was the trip into Seattle to see the Seattle Symphony. This is the big one they wait until the kids are more mature to take. All the kids dressed in their best clothes climbed on the big yellow school bus. Of course my son and his friends wanted to sit at the back. I get bus sick...especially in the back. The good news? I had a seat to myself.
A school bus is like a time machine. It looks exactly the same as it did when I was a kid. Green, wrinkly covered seats that are oh, so uncomfortable and windows that you can never get up or down right. The bus driver even had late 70's music on. So with Credence Clear Water Revival playing, we rolled out of the school.
We bumped along on the freeway...the freezing air coming through an open window. I was so thankful for that open window when a kid behind me farted...bus sick along with that odor about did me in. Gag reflex. It took an hour and 15 minutes to get there so we ate lunch at 11am on the bus. Try dipping crackers in hummus while you are bouncing 2 inch off the seat. It was worth every moment to sit in front of my son and his friends and still be included in conversation.
The kids waved to the people on the streets of Seattle, and surprisingly, they waved back. I think they could see the excitement in their faces. There were lots of "Ohhhs" and "Awwws" at the sky scrapers and the store windows. Remember, were from a small town...this is big stuff. We filed out of the bus and into the auditorium...the kids excited to be in a such a place with decorative walls and a balcony. I sat back and enjoyed the beautiful music that would have cost me a fortune under any other circumstance. The kids...well, I think they some-what appreciated it. I watched some goof off and other soak it in.
As I'm listening, I'm remembering this same field trip with my daughter...along with the one to Padilla Bay where I did get sick on the way. And the one with my son in kindergarten on the public transit and the children's museum. I worked myself to death trying to keep up with all the little boys running from one thing to the next. Now, I sat peacefully with my eleven year old in his best sweater and jeans.
It was over quickly and we were back on the bus. Someone started a chorus of thank you Mrs. Bus Driver as we rolled in. Not that much has changed. However, as I step off the bus and wave to my son, I know that the changes are just beginning. I'm thankful that for a few hours I got to ride on an old bus and soak in the laughter of kids being kids for a little while longer.