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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Love & field trips

I don't know about other parents, but I don't think I thought about the demands - for lack of a better word - of having children so far apart. Here I am preparing a child for college by filling out applications, applying for scholarships and attending open houses and whatnot, and (way on the other end) I have a group of children just getting into the education game.

I have to get my mind right again. I've been talking to myself about being more involved at the children's school like I was with my oldest daughter. Yes, I know that I am the president of the Parent's Committee and I helped out with setting up and breaking down for the Black History Program. I've also washed the sheets for my 4-year-old's class. But there's always more.

Today, I went with my son's class on a field trip to the library. I know it's not much, but I had to start small. I purposefully did not volunteer or even inquire about going on the field trip to the circus. Can you imagine that? About 20 kids on a bus for 30 minutes both ways then sitting through the noise of the circus while keeping an eye on the children? Then fighting through the crowd (even if it's only other schools) to get souvenirs and whatnot. I don't think so.

I enjoyed the under 10 minutes ride to the library that is two blocks away from their school. We were there for about an hour and the ride back (while I secretly munched my snack) was pleasant. Next week I'll do it again with my daughter.

My son was so happy that I went with his class - he asked me last week if I would and I was delighted. Although I didn't sit next to him the entire time, we stole looks and smiles across the room. Then during the activity we colored together and quietly made our crayons fight. His bashful smiles and light touches sent joy to my heart.

I asked his assistant teacher if he's always that quiet.

"No!" She said that with a roll of her eyes and we both laughed.

As I was leaving the school, I saw my son standing in line. Actually he was spinning in circles. I said, "Hey! Don't let all of that pent up energy out now."

I walked up to him to say 'see you later' and I whispered to him that he had to be good for the afternoon. I asked if he wanted to give me a kiss on the cheek and he did.

I've had an extremely rough week with the younger children - and parenting in general - and this moment in the day is a reminder of how parenting can be filled with happiness, pride and sharing. It couldn't have come at a better time.
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