History Repeats Itself
Today is Laurel’s first real school field trip. Gone are the days of the preschool walk to the pond or fire station. We’ve entered the big leagues. Big yellow school bus. Highway driving. And parent chaperones.
I’m feeling conflicted this morning. As a kid, I desperately wanted my parents to be involved; I so craved their time and attention (as one of seven kids, one on one time was pretty much nonexistent). So I always thought that when Laurel set off on her first big kid field trip, I’d be the one by her side.
But I'm struggling to adjust to our new schedule, which has cut back my work hours by 20% (not sure why I didn’t see this as a problem when those pesky after-care forms passed me by...). I subsequently saw the notice about the field trip and my first thought was, “There’s no way I can give up those 6 hours of work time.”
Jon decided to be the chaperone. He wanted to do it, plus we were both wondering how the hell Laurel – still struggling with her kindergarten transition – would cope with the school bus (response when we told her about the bus suggested it would not go well). I applauded the decision, felt blessed that Jon was willing to be flexible with his client schedule, and went about the all-important task of figuring out what to pack for lunch and snack.
But as Jon and Laurel left this morning, heading out hand in hand on this gorgeous fall day and for this big adventure, I felt a palpable sadness that markedly contrasted Laurel’s excited squeals about having Daddy with her for the school day.
I was missing this moment in favor of taking care of business.
I wonder if this is how my mom felt.