Are We There Yet?
Okay, I lied. I'm not chronicling this during the actual trip. I didn't have time. I made a few very brief notes and drank a lot of coffee, but only wrote about a thousand words while I was gone and that was on my WIP for Presents. I was tired. Get off my back.
Also, I have to mention that I have zero permission to share details of any of the children's experiences on this trip. Therefore, I can only talk about my own. However, I would like to put before the court that the experience of a chaperone on a field trip is not the universal experience that a student field trip is. Most of us can recall our first trip to a museum where we had to hold hands with our best friend, couldn't hear the boring guy at the front, had to sit with the boy who smells like stale pee... You know what I mean.
What I offer is the fresh view of a grown up surrounded by kids who have been temporarily detached from their umbilical cords. I would love to share what happens to teachers when they're going on ninety-six hours of being at work, but what goes on the road stays on the road. We had to sign secrecy agreements and everything.
The trip got off to a typical start: a faint feeling of nausea, a motion sick tablet, a nap, then a picnic lunch in lousy weather. In our family, when we make this trip, I usually win the Betsy Wetsy award for most unscheduled stops, but I eschewed liquids and made it to the lower mainland without costing us extra time we couldn't afford.
We had some good laughs in the parent section, but I was already missing my daughter by the time we arrived, so I texted her. (Yes, that's mother with an 's' -- smother. What's your point?) The children had strict orders not to bring their cellphones for exactly this reason and because we were in city traffic, had been told to sit straight and pay attention. I got in trouble for texting so I kept it low in my lap, which my daughter praised me for "You're texting like my generation--under your desk." But then she told me to look out the window. "You're texting more than I do. I'm stopping now."
I just wanted to know she got home from school okay. Sheesh.
We settled in our dorms, dressed for a nice dinner (Japanese Grill) and went to the swimming pool after. I didn't get into a bathing suit. I went to the gym and led another mom in pilates, then watched my son pace the high dive platform until he worked up the courage to leap just as they closed the pool.
We got everyone tucked in and us moms made plans to set our alarms to get up early and walk. This is the enthusiasm of a neophyte. Had I been on any other field trips, I would have known to pace myself.
Read on to Day Two, dear reader.