The Mother of All Field Trips

December 11, 2012

During my last year of law school, my girls were in 3rd and 5th grades.

Before I went to law school, when the girls were in even younger grades, my job was all we had.  I was a single mom, and while we were making ends meet, we didn’t have a huge nest egg.  I didn’t play around with time off.   Then, when I was in my first 2 years of law school, my time was tight.  Again, time off wasn’t easy to get.

But during that last year of law school, I was more flexible, and I thought, “this is my chance!”

My chance to chaperone a field trip.

I picked one trip per kid, and I committed to it, and I went.

With Emma’s class, I went to Wolf Hollow, and saw, well, wolves. It was cold.  Our bus got lost.  The kids were cute.  It was fun.

With J’s class, I waited for the summer (I probably had already graduated, come to think of it), and I went to George’s Island.  That was kind of a magical day.  It was warm, the kids were soft and sweet and young.  It was also a trip where I got to know a few moms that I hadn’t really known before (thanks to law school and the intensity that it brought into my life).  I have pictures of J and her friends from that trip that I cherish.  We got sunburns.  We had fun.

And that was that.  My chaperoning days were done.

Until now.

Emma’s crew team is going on a trip.  During February vacation.  A week long vacation.

Last year, they went to Texas.  Where it’s warm in February, and they can go on the water without risking hypothermia.  This year, Texas got too expensive (or the dorms were demolished, or something), and so they’re going to Georgia.

And they needed chaperones. They sent a general plea.  “We need 4 people!”  I looked at the email wistfully thinking, “Emma wouldn’t want me to go . . . ”

Apparently, they didn’t get the 4 people.  Because a second email came.

I don’t know how the coaches came up with their list, but they came up with a list of about 15-20 parents (out of hundreds) that they thought would be “great chaperones!”

I forwarded that email to Emma: “Can I go?”

And she responded:  “Are you serious??!!  I wanted to ask you, but I figured you had to work!!!”

NO!  I do not have to work!!

I put my ducks in a row at work, tallied up my vacation days, saw that this was doable, and signed up.

And now – I’m chaperoning!

What am I chaperoning?

Oh, about 60 boys and 30 girls, ages 16-18, on a plane, through a layover, to a hotel, to a race course, into Atlanta, etc., etc.

What the heck am I thinking?

I’m thinking:  These kids are absolutely awesome.  I know many of them.  Know of the rest.  Think the world of them.  It’s going to be great. I’m also thinking:  Em wants me there!  Hooray!!

(In fact, she was telling me that she was scoping out other “cool” parents to try and get their kids to talk them into going, so I could have cool people to hang out with.)

Now let’s just hope that I don’t get some random trial scheduled for that week . . . .




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