Field Trip

On Tuesday I went through yet another parental rite of passage — I went on a field trip.

It was Gal Smiley’s JK class. They went to Saunder’s Farm, a local farm that specializes in Halloween activities (you can read an excellent review of it on DaniGirl’s blog). Sir Monkeypants went with Captain Jelly Belly last year, so this year I got to have a turn.

I thought I’d get to blog about all the fun and wonder and moving mother-daughter moments. My own mother came along for exactly one field trip with me, when I was in kindergarten. We went to the apple orchard, and I had a little red apple-shaped name tag and my mom had a big green apple-shaped name tag. The fact that I can still remember details of that trip — possibly my earliest accessible memories — tells you what a big deal it is when a kid’s mom comes along for the trip. I remember being SO excited that my mom was there, being so proud to introduce her to all my friends.

And not that my trip with Gal Smiley wasn’t fun, but JESUS, it was COLD. Barely above freezing, with a wicked, strong, bitter wind whipping around our heads. On top of that, it was pouring rain.

Definitely the kind of weather that makes me think, “Boy, I’d love to go to a farm right now and do outdoor activities for an hour and a half!”

Here’s what I was wearing:

  • jeans with double-layered splash pants over top
  • extremely thick, heavy wool hiking socks
  • winter boots
  • a shirt and a fleece
  • my winter coat
  • gloves
  • world’s dorkiest toque with ear flaps

And I was cold. And wet. Very COLD AND WET. Some parents were just wearing fall jackets, with running shoes. Most didn’t have hats and some didn’t even have gloves. I felt very, very bad for those parents but they were getting my dork-hat over my dead body.

So it wasn’t really the magical time I had envisioned. I don’t have any cute anecdotes to relate. I don’t even have any pictures — I was too afraid of the camera getting soaked and also, I was definitely not in any kind of mood to be removing my gloves. I think Gal Smiley had a nice time and she was happy I was there and everything, but most of the time she was too focused on survival to notice the activities or my presence. She does like the little baby pumpkin she got to take home, though.

The only really interesting thing that happened was that one of the other moms there had a baby carrier hiding inside the front of her jacket, and inside the baby carrier was a four-week old baby. We were all pretty amazed that she was brave enough and healthy enough and alert enough to even be vertical with the baby, let alone at a farm during a hurricane. So I came home and told Sir Monkeypants about this amazing Amazon woman, and the first thing he said was, “Was it Shelly?”

Oh, you mean the wife of your good friend from work? Who just had a baby four weeks ago, and who has a daughter in JK at Gal Smiley’s school? The one I’ve been hearing stories about for years and the one who I have actually met on a few occasions? That Shelly?

Hm. Now that you mention it, yes.

Sometimes I am socially stupid. I guess I could always claim that my brain was frozen.

4 thoughts on “Field Trip

  1. Ha! I’ve totally done things like that. I have the WORST memory for faces. If I see people out of the context of where I normally see them, I sometimes don’t recognize them.

    Or–on the other hand–I’ve sometimes THOUGHT that I recognized someone and waved hello or started talking to them, only to realize that they’re not the person I thought they were after all. So awkward…

  2. I too have a bad, very bad memory for faces AND names. Surprisingly I am great at remembering all the kids names and faces in both of my girl’s classes (while I’ve noticed most of the other Mom’s don’t….so there).

    Want to know how I really feel about field trips? I find them kinda boring and I don’t really like them, BUT I volunteer for every single trip at both girl’s schools. The reason? Because it means so much to my kids.

  3. I once went to a weekend boot camp with my daughter’s Grade 7 class – 2 hour bus ride in the first bus ever made over mud tracks most of the way to a remote camp with extremely rugged conditions (no showers, no beds, no electricity except in the main building, toilets a 10 minute hike from the sleeping quarters in pitch darkness) I sure friggin’ hope she remembers that fondly because I’m still in recovery 3 years later.

  4. Mary Lynn – Great to hear I am not alone!

    Porter – I agree, it’s good to suck it up and go, because it means a lot to the kids.

    XUP — I think it is very safe to say that if I am offered such a trip when my kids are in grade 7…my kids will be toughing it out ALONE.

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