I always thought that once my kids got into school, I would have so much more "me" time (I know, it sounds pretty selfish doesn't it?). Boy, was I wrong! I seem to spend more time in my car and volunteering at their schools than anything else.
It's given me an opportunity to see a side of my kids that I normally don't get to see at home. To see how they're growing, maturing, and interacting with friends. Sometimes it's nice to step out of your normal routine and look at things through a different lens.
Camille asked me to go on her class trip to the pumpkin farm last week. I couldn't pass it up. One of my earliest memories is of my mom going on a field trip with my class to the zoo.
This may not seem like a big deal, but you have to know that I'm a middle child (Jan Brady syndrome, enough said!) and my parents worked a lot when I was younger. They were young and trying to make ends meet. So when my mom volunteered after hearing me beg and whine for awhile, I couldn't wait.
Inviting my mom into this new world of mine with new friends was so exciting to me. It was very important to me that she be a part of this too. It's like when your boyfriend meets your friends for the first time and you hope everyone gets along and everything meshes together perfectly. Okay, not so good of an analogy but you get the idea!
Everything that day was perfect ~ I got to ride the bus with my mom, I didn't have to share her with my sister or brother, and we now had a special memory that we shared together.
She was in charge of me & a small group of kids ~ we had to stay close and eat lunch together. There was a boy in our group that had opened his packed lunch to find a mayonnaise and cheese sandwich and a full ear of corn on the cob. Who would pack this kind of lunch on an 85 degree day? This was just not a good combination after walking around the zoo all morning. The sandwich smelt awful and my mom had to get rid of his lunch. My mom and I could not stop laughing about the whole scene for days. We shared this moment and the day together, uninterrupted, as corny as it was. 29 years later (yikes!) and I still remember this like it was yesterday.
So when I volunteered for the pumpkin trip I could only hope that it would be as special for Camille and create a fond memory.
She didn't even want to sit with me on the bus! She was too busy sitting with a different person each way. While this normally would have made me a little said, I couldn't help but be proud of what a big girl she's become. She's come out of her shy, timid shell and is making new friends. It made my heart swell that she didn't need to rely on me or use me as a crutch.
The pumpkin farm was a mudpit. Did I mention how muddy it was?? Oh, and that it was 40 degrees. We all survived though and laughed a lot about it (that was our mayonnaise sandwich moment).
I love, love, love that she invited me into her new world and shared her new experiences with me. I wish every parent could get an opportunity to do the same. I think it means more than we realize sometimes.