Thursday, May 24, 2012

Field Trip

As a teacher I have to admit that field trips completely stress me out. I think it is the fact that there are so many things to think about, and being I'm out of my familiar environment puts me on edge. I also want to make sure that my students have a fun time, but behave as well, and sometimes those two don't always seem to go together. I do have to say that all my worry usually is for naught. It is rare that I take my students somewhere and someone doesn't tell me how nice they are. Despite history, I still get wound up when it comes to field trips.

As a parent, you could say that my field trip anxiety just about triples. So, when we got a note from Abby's teacher last week telling us her class was going to the YMCA for rock climbing and swimming, I was immediately apprehensive. As soon as I showed that to Jason his words were, "No way," and I agreed. We couldn't go with her, and as much as we love and trust her teachers, we understand that Abby isn't their only student, we just didn't feel comfortable with it, she needed too much support for this adventure. The thing is, it made me so sad that we were not going to let her go, because I know how much she loves to be in the water. I knew she would have fun if the conditions were right, but I also knew that there were so many ways things could go wrong. Abby loves swimming, but when she is in the pool she clings to Jason, not ready to let go of him, she really needs a pool buddy when she goes swimming.

Bless Abby's teacher for hanging in there with me. I think we wrote about ten emails back and forth with me asking questions and trying to wrap my head around how the day would work, and how we might make it possible for her to go. I was still waffling yesterday when I sent a final message to her teacher letting her know that we were still undecided. I still couldn't see how this would work. That's when Abby's wonderful teacher threw out a perfect idea. She so generously offered to talk to her daughter, who just recently graduated from college and was home for the summer, and ask her if she would be Abby's one-on-one pool buddy. This was the perfect solution! I was so excited when I heard that she'd agreed to go on the field trip. I felt completely comfortable having her go, and I knew she would have a wonderful time. After school I ran to the store to pick Abby up a new suit and some swimmies. When she got home from school I told her that she would get to go swimming tomorrow with "Miss Chelsae" and she was over the moon about it. She immediately put on her suit and walked to the door, ready to go. It took some time to convince her that she would get to go tomorrow, not that afternoon, but she finally accepted it.

This morning she woke up and started talking about swimming with Miss Chelsae and she was an absolute gem all morning. So with her bag filled with swimming stuff, she got on the bus and headed off on an adventure. All day I kept my phone right next to me, anxious that I might get a call that things had gone wrong, but as each hour passed my spirits lifted. I so wish I could have been there to see her. Finally, I left school as soon as I could, and even though I didn't get a message to Abby's teacher that I wanted to pick her up, I zipped over to Abby's school. Unfortunately I missed her. The bus had already come and she'd left, but I did get a chance to talk to Abby's teachers. They said she had a blast! She'd done so well and even had enjoyed a bit of swimming on her own. Oh, I can't tell you how excited I was for her. I thanked them all, and left so I could get home in time to meet the bus.

She did have a wonderful time, and after she'd eaten dinner she was ready to head up for a bath, to do "more swimming". There was a moment of stubbornness when she wanted to put her bathing suit on before she got in the tub, but once she found the colored paint/soap she was all good to get in. It looks like we'll be looking into swimming lessons this summer - for our little mermaid.

Today was a perfect way to head into a nice long weekend.

Enjoying some pretzels after a fun day!

Making her "cute" face.

This afternoon Abby ran out to explore and
found the Peonies. I watched as she leaned in
to smell the flower and then she started pulling.
Before I could get to her, down she went. Then,
up she came with the whole plant - roots and all!

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