Archive for April, 2019

Field Trip of Dreams

April 14, 2019

It was an experience they will never forget. And a field trip I was so lucky to be apart of. When Keane’s teacher asked if I would be one of the chaperone parents on their “Under The Sea” overnight field trip, I was as excited as my 6 year old. Talk about winning the chaperone lottery.

The trip happened last Thursday night. After school twenty three, 6, 7 & 8 year olds packed their overnight bags, rolled up their sleeping bags and head for the Georgia Aquarium for the experience of a lifetime. Check-in at the aquarium was chaos. Over amped on adrenaline the kids squealed, danced and yelled as the teachers and 2 of us parents tried to repeatedly count heads and make sure every kid stayed focused enough to make sure they had all of their belonging for the night. Once check-in was complete we were swept away for a behind-the-scenes tour of everything that goes into the care of all of the marine animals that reside at the Georgia Aquarium. We saw where the sea creatures food is prepared. Where the marine lab and vet care happens. We saw new baby otters, whales and fish not yet mature enough to go into the display tanks being looked after in the marine nursery. We also got to watch the whale shark and penguin feeding. All of the things you would never get the opportunity to see on a standard day at the aquarium. After the behind-the-scenes tour it was back to the public area. But this time, there was no public. The aquarium was officially closed for the night. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was amazing. Seeing all of the wonderful displays, without having to wait your turn, jostle for a good viewing position, get on tip-toe to see above heads or get swallowed and pushed by an excited crowd, was just glorious.  Then after some nighttime instructions and logistics from our aquarium guides, we were taken to our sleep spot for the night. And let me just saw, it could NOT have been more magical. The kids (teachers & parents too) set up camp in the aquarium’s glass tunnel. There are no words to describe what its like to look up from your sleep spot and see whale sharks, sting rays, mantra rays, sharks of varying varieties, groupers and hundreds and thousands of fish swimming all around you. Its pure magic. I didn’t sleep a wink. With 23 kids, there was always someone who needed to be taken to the bathroom, a drink of water or just a little reassurance and comfort. But not sleeping meant I got to enjoy the underwater view, the entire night. Couldn’t ever complain about that.

6am the next morning was our get up time. Breakfast was had, bags were packed, sleeping bags rolled up and we were back behind-the-scenes to see feeding time for some more ocean creatures. After lunch it was time to load up and return all the kids back to school where a bunch of anxious parents waited to see their precious little ones. Wondering and stressing about how they all did on their first ever overnight field trip. And I have to say, all the kids did amazing. I was so impressed by how well they behaved. How independent and capable they all were at taking care of themselves. Setting up and managing their own sleeping areas. All the logistics of dressing, undressing. The pre-bedtime and post-wake up bathroom drill. Everything. They had been practicing the past couple of weeks, getting competent and comfortable with everything they would need to do, so they wouldn’t have to rely on the teachers or chaperone parents to help them. Watching Keane experience this with all his friends. Seeing him take care of himself (he was told by his teachers that I was not his momma on this trip. He wasn’t allowed to ask for my help with anything), was definitely a proud momma moment. If not a little sad, cos I could see how mature he’s getting and how independent he is. Suddenly I had flashes of the future, of him growing up, moving out and doing his own thing in life. And it stung me right in the heart. I was missing him already.

But until that day when he moves out, here he is, 6 years old. Off on the aquarium adventure of a lifetime.

Left: elevator selfie with some of his classmates. Right: Front row, 2nd from left, Keane. We split up into 2 groups once we got to the aquarium and Keane wasn’t in my group.

The 2 groups did come together for some of the activities. So we did get to see each other.

This! This was our camping spot for the night. Photos don’t do it justice. It was truly amazing. Right: A very happy Keane.

Everyone getting their beds set up. Right: A wobbegong shark swimming past as Keane is making his bed for the night.

All tucked in.

After a very early wake up, we were back exploring more of the aquarium.

Post lunch and its time to get ourselves a memory t-shirt and head back to the school.

For Shame

April 7, 2019

They say never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Today I discovered why “they” say this. Post 6 mile run this evening, I was ravenous. We’re talking emergency levels of hunger. With no snacks in the car an emergency stop at the grocery store was of the utmost. My plan once at the store was to head for the healthy. Good for me snacks, fruit and chilled bottle of water. Nowhere in the plan did I imagine my slight detour through the baked goods section. “Sure I’ll just have a look” I told myself. “I won’t buy anything“. A lie. Even as I was thinking it, I knew I was lying. Then, just like that, a box of 6 chocolate donuts is sitting in my basket. By the time I got home, it was a box of 3 chocolate donuts. Yes, I ate 3 chocolate donuts in the 12 minute drive from the grocery store, back to my house. I DON’T EVEN LIKE DONUTS. But for some reason today, my post run hungry would not be satisfied with anything other than a donut. 3 donuts to be exact. FFS! I didn’t feel good after it, in case you’re wondering. Well, maybe I felt pretty good after the 1st one, but definitely not after the 3rd thats for sure. Apparently I’m just one of those people who was born with a faulty “off switch”. I don’t always seem to know when its best and wise for me to stop. Anyway, there it is. Putting it out there. My big shame for the day.

On a less shameful note, Spring lacrosse is in full swing. And here we are on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, arriving for Keane’s practice.