The initial email came a few weeks in advance. Are there any parents that are interested in chaperoning the third grade field trip? Of course! A bonus is that it was a really fun place – Telus Spark Science Center – and Mid loves it there. I told him that I had replied that I would be willing to go along. He (privately) said that he would really like it if I would come on the bus. One problem. I received a response to my email that they already had enough chaperones and I was not needed. Bummer.
So, the day came for the field trip. I had to remind Mid that I would not be a chaperone that day as we shuffled out of the door and into the car. I dropped the kids at school, reminded them that I love them (not that they listen anyway), would pick them up after school and took off. When I walked in the door back at my house, the phone was ringing. I have not had coffee yet and so not ready to talk with people. Deep breath. Who would be calling at this time? It was school, calling to tell me that one of the mothers scheduled to come on the field trip is not able to come at the last minute and would I still be available? I looked at my outfit. I had a late start that morning, so had not showered. In fact, I had thrown my coat and boots over my flannel jammies to take the kids to school. I was not even dressed.
“How much time do I have to get ready?”
“We can hold the bus for you. Or, you can meet us there as soon as you can. Sorry for the late notice. Can you come?”
I thought about it. And had a flashback to fall 1999. It was early on a Sunday morning. JB had left very early to meet some friends to go to a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field. The phone rang in our apartment. At the last minute, the guy who was to bring all the food had come down with the flu and was not able to go. He had dropped off the food and his ticket and told the three remaining that they should do what they could with the ticket. JB called me to see if I wanted to go. When I answered the phone I was asleep. “No, I can’t go, have fun,” I replied to his question and hung up the phone. Then I woke up. What? Was I just offered a ticket with full tailgate at a Green Bay Packer game? At freaking Lambeau Field? I called JB back to clarify. He answered, laughing, “I thought this would be you. Can you be here in 20 minutes?” Of course! Being a Type A, planning with spreadsheets type of girl, I sometimes need a little time to let things sink in. And caffeine. Caffeine always helps.
Anyway, back to the field trip. I thought of Mid’s happiness that I offered to chaperone the trip. If he found out that I was offered to go and declined, how would he feel? And besides, all I had planned to do that day was laundry and cleaning. Of course, I replied, and I would meet them at the museum as soon as I could. I dressed, brushed my hair.. basically made myself presentable for a group of 3rd graders.
Mid’s teacher is a really nice lady and fabulous educator. She met me at the door of the museum, briefed me on the plan and had me join the group. Mid had a wide smile of his face when he saw me come in, which confirmed that I made the right decision, (much like the cold beer confirmed the decision to go to the Packer game).
That night at dinner, Mid thanked me for coming on the field trip. We shared our little outing with the family. I also asked him what had all happened at school that morning. His version of the story is more entertaining that his teachers, so I will share his. He said that morning one of the moms let his teacher know when dropping off her son that she had something come up and was not able to accompany them to the museum. His teacher, who is an adorably animated Italian woman, asked the other parents if they knew of anyone that could come on short notice. While they were looking at the contact list of those that had said they could chaperone, his teacher asked the kids if any of their parents may be available. Mid answered, “All my mom ever does is laundry, so she is probably around.”
Out of the mouths of babes, as they say. The laundry and housework were delayed a day. And it was well worth it.