Today, my son went on his very first kindergarten field trip. We were both excited about it, but I was also nervous. He was going to ride on that big bus and go to a big farm where he’d be walking through a big pumpkin patch! Eek! My baby! So of course, I volunteered to go along on the field trip. When Jennifer was Jesse’s age, she was a tough little kiddo, so I didn’t worry about her at all. (She’s STILL tough, too! She once punched a boy who was fighting with one of her friends. Yep, my daughter has fists, and she knows how to use them!) But with Jesse, I did worry. I just HAD to be with him.
Even though I’ve been struggling with a bad cough for over a week. I STILL had to be with him for this field trip! So I volunteered. It was the first time I ever volunteered to go on a field trip, so I was a little excited, too. (Later, I realized this would be a good experience, because in one of the stories I just wrote, my characters go on a field trip and there are a couple of parents who volunteered to go on the trip, too, so I got a better idea of just what that kinda thing is like.) I was very close to canceling, though, because of my cough, but then I learned that I just wasn’t gonna be tagging along here. Oh, no! I was gonna have a job! I had to help out!
I was assigned four children to be responsible for, and Jesse was among them. I couldn’t back out, now! Good thing I’d brought extra cough drops along with me. (The cough syrup I started taking today and the cough drops are not a huge help, but they do help a little bit. And, thankfully, my cough was not as bad while I was on the trip.)
When we got on the bus, I let Jesse pick where we would sit. And he just HAD to pick a seat that was at one of the emergency exits! I saw that and thought, ‘Oh, no.’ I remembered an essay in a book written by my friend, Tara Chevrestt, about how she was forced to change seats on a flight because she is deaf and was sitting next to an emergency exit, and the airline staff wouldn’t allow her to sit next to an emergency exit because she is deaf. Even though Tara KNEW how to easily open an emergency exit on a plane, they still made her move, because she’s deaf! I hoped that nobody would make me move from my seat just because I was a deaf person sitting next to the emergency exit. I mean, I understand why they do it, but it’s just really annoying. I’d probably get a little mad about it.
But, thankfully, nobody pointed any fingers saying, “Hey! That deaf woman is sitting next to the emergency exit! We’re all doomed!” Nobody asked me to move. And I was grateful for that!
On the way to the farm we went out to, I saw another farm I’ve been trying to figure out how to get to, because they have a harvest celebration going on later this month and I want to take the kids this year for sure. I saw it and was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’
When we got to the farm, I was taken aback at just how HUGE it is! There’s a store selling things grown on the farm, and the animals of course, but A LOT of acres and so many things planted. There was the cornfield, assorted flowers, assorted trees and vegetables, and a ginormous pumpkin patch! It was just so big. Looking around, I started to wonder if people who worked there needed to carry a map so they didn’t get lost!
We got on a hay truck, sitting on bales of hay, and rode out to the pumpkin patch. I made sure I had all four of my young charges with me the whole time, as well as when we went through the pumpkin patch looking for pumpkins. It was wet and muddy! (The teacher was smart to wear mud boots.) I helped all four of the kids with cleaning off their chosen pumpkins and placing their pumpkins into their bags. Jesse and one other boy in the group selected big pumpkins, which I ended up carrying for them later on when it was time to leave. (I was not allowed to, because the kids have to be able to carry their own pumpkins, but I felt bad for them, especially the little boy who had to keep sitting his big pumpkin down.)
We adults also worked together to keep track of all the kids and help them out. It was just such a positive and welcoming environment. One other mom had volunteered as well as the teacher aide and it was just a great feeling of acceptance and teamwork among us all. I was grateful to them for their kindness and smiles.
After the kids got pumpkins, we all took pictures as they checked out the scarecrow, fed the goats, visited the rabbits, saw the chickens and played in a little play area. We all had a great time.
Then it was time to go back to the school. Boo-hoo! We didn’t want to leave. While I did pick up on a sad feeling while I was in the pumpkin patch, I really enjoyed visiting that farm and found it so hard to leave. It was like I couldn’t pull myself away from there! I wanted to run through the mud! Go out into the fields! Be among all those growing plants and all those roaming animals! It’s so fun to visit a farm and I could just stay there all day.
But we did have to leave. I am grateful for this experience. It was awesome! Jesse and I have pictures and a video I made to remember his field trip with, and a nice pumpkin he’ll get to carve for Halloween.