Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Being There

When I was a teacher, I rarely took a day off because, honestly, it was just too much work. Doing my job was far, far easier than leaving written instructions so someone else could do it for me.

So it is with motherhood.

Kolbe r-e-a-l-l-y wanted me to go on his field trip today. My participation in class activities has been spotty mainly due to two factors, and their names are John and Ainsley. Adults chaperoning field trips have to be free to take care of the kids in the class and, therefore, are asked to leave babies and pre-schoolers home.

I haven't managed to pull this off too often.

Today was the big field trip to Discovery Place, a museum three hours away. We planned to leave at 6:00 a.m., and Dave was going to be out of town. It was a logistical challenge that involved no fewer than seven people and about fifty-two phone calls. Details, details, details. Cell phone numbers and house keys; diaper bags and tooth brushes; carpools and sippy cups.

Due to the early departure, John and Ainsley were going to have their first sleep over two doors down at my neighbor Sue's house. I was packing up jammies and making sandwiches and placing a last call or two when Tim informed me that he had no shoes for P.E. the following day. I had picked up a pair on Monday, but they proved to be too small. I started to stress. I started to debate whether I should write a note for the P.E. teacher. Instead I jumped in the van, zipped across town, and exchanged the shoes.

The museum was neat. We watched a demonstration on elements that included both fire and loud explosives. All of us laid on a bed of nails and learned why it isn't painful but stilletto heels are. Best of all, there was a large working area where kids could build objects using duct tape.

Did they know Kolbe was coming or what?

Kolbe didn't sit by me on the bus. Kolbe didn't sit next to me during the Imax movie. Kolbe didn't sit next to me at lunch. 

At the end of the day, he turned to me and said, "I''m so glad you came on the trip with me." 

After school, I called to check on Tim. "Thanks for the shoes, " he said. "They're great!"

Tonight I walked through the door to the sounds of the little people shrieking at the sight of me and throwing their arms around me.

And John -- oh my sweet John,  the boy I think of as John of my heart -- he looked at me and said, "Mom, you know what my happy thought is? You."

Later I spied the DVD case for Hook and realized John's sentiments were lifted straight from Peter Pan.

But do I care?

Gotta love a kid who quotes movies (clean movies!) and manages to slay his mother once again.

Sometimes it's the big things. Sometimes it's the little things. On their end and on mine.

1 comment:

christinelaennec said...

What a great post. My daughter often thanks me for doing things for her, and it is really a wonderful feeling to be appreciated and to know that your work as a mother isn't for nothing. I hope I remember to be as appreciative in return.