N was thrilled .. Mom was going to come to chaperone her and her friends on their field trip.. She had always complained that I had never accompanied her on any field trips. She counted all the field trips I’d been to and they weren’t her’s. The other siblings were thrilled for her too. The count down had started days ahead..
Everyday she would come and hug me and say…
“I’m so happy you’re my mom..I’m so happy you’re coming on the field trip with me”.
I’m sure she also wanted to show off her mom to her friends. So surprising .. with 6 classes going together on this trip..none of my triplet’s classes had their trips together.
It was 3 separate days of trips. Each of them had wanted me to accompany them. They had used their spin to ask mom to come with them too. It was difficult to refuse. I had no heart for it but, K and P understood my difficulties as their dates were on the days I had other engagements. So, accepting the situation, they had been happy for N that finally, Mama would accompany her, on her field trip.
The day came..we contacted friends for favors and of I went to spend this day with my daughter and her friends.
We arrived at our destination with all excitement. The N’s friends confirmed with me, all the things that N had promised them that I would provide
Then started our day long foot work. We had our maps and decided our spots to visit and timed everything. But, as the afternoon started to move to late afternoon and then still later, the girls weren’t tired. They wanted to visit some more and some more places
“You don’t walk this much? Do you?!”, asked one. She recounted her vacation stories through our walk and know what..it rejuvenated me. This little girl made me forget my pains with her stories…
As soon as she stopped, my shoes had started to bite. I had been lugging my camera and all of my little friend’s water bottles and coats and it started so show effects. I had started to feel my shoulders pain and my knees and my fingers inside my shoes..
“Oh! why didn’t I cut my nails?!”
OMG! I don’t think I’ll be able to take another step, I thought, trying hard to move the fingers inside my shoes. It was almost getting to the end of the day. As the girls visited the shopping store for their souvenirs and deciding on their purchase, asking me for opinions and then..deciding on something else and then asking me for an opinion..and the cycle continued.
“I know why things are so expensive here! The sales tax is 8% here. In NJ its 7%. They are taking 8cents for every dollar. No wonder, I’m not able to buy anything”, one friend said..
Whatever reason, this kid wasn’t buying ..she sure knew her numbers. Not sure if I would’ve noticed them though..The only way to save my sorry a— was by telling myself
“Gayatri..you didn’t buy anything so, how would you know…?!”
“My mom asked me to bring back some change!”, she said.
“I’m just going to buy a book mark”, she said again.
N wasn’t interested in getting anything. She’d already bought something that morning. A copy of the “Declaration of Independence”, which I found later was one of the hot buys among these kids.
Unable to take it any longer I came to the door of the store and sat down on the bare ground. Who cared now if the dust was going to make an outline of my butt!
Then, came the rest of the chaperones and started to collect around me. It almost felt like we were all feeling the end of the day, when one of my little friend said..
“Let me go and see what is there. I love collecting pamphlets. Can you come?”,
At this point..I had to let the kid know that I wasn’t going to move now. She asked me if she could go.
“Ok, stay in my visibility”, I said.
All the kids in my group joined her and off they ran..They didn’t care..if they were visible to me or not. I’m sure they didn’t even hear me say that!
There …I go!!
I got up and walked to them. They were speaking to an officer of the Park Service finding out about the quiz book that if they answer would earn them a medal. The Park Ranger handed me the medals asking me to give it to them once, they’re done with their quiz.
I felt the same persistence to get on the bus back home too. I was so glad when the bus arrived and I had to get into it. My day wasn’t over. I was to return to pick my other kids and cook dinner for us.
I was thinking..”OH! I’m so glad I didn’t offer this chaperone services to N
s siblings too”!!!
But knowing me, when the time comes for another trip..I’m sure I will gladly hop along, because now, I know what a fun day is really like!
Energetic and lively.
I’m so glad I went with my daughter on her field trip.
Here’s a video I created of the trip.