Friday, May 16, 2008

Talbots at the Zoo

My husband brought out eldest child to school this morning with his lunch in a mini Talbot's bag. Yes, the bright red and black bag with the Talbot's logo blazoned across both sides of it. I felt a little bad about this because normally his lunch goes into school in a lovely reusable Diego lunch bag, which he loves! But today is different...or it was supposed to be. Today, our son was going on his first field trip.

He's three.

It's raining.

They're going Monday. He'll probably have the same Talbot's bag on Monday.

I was quite nervous about this trip. They're going to the zoo. Nothing far, nothing exotic, nothing crazy, just some small petting zoo by us. They're going on a bus. Without car seats. To a place where I won't be.

These trips make me nervous. I have a feeling they will always make me nervous. My son is three years old. I love that he's getting to go to a zoo that he's never been to but I don't know how comfortable I am with him going on a bus and with minimal chaperons. I am sure the teachers and the parents who are attending will be all over the kids and the zoo is used to little kids so they know to keep an eye on them, but I am still nervous.

Again, worst case scenarios abound.

Last year I witnessed a bus crash. A pretty bad bus crash. A dump truck ran a light and slammed into the side of a school bus full of kids. It was bad. I had the boy with me and I was newly pregnant with the girl. I pulled over and began to help out in any way I could. I did all that I could, gave my name to the police and went to work. I cried my whole way to work. All I could think of were the parents who would be receiving phone calls saying that their son or daughter was taken to this hospital because they were in an accident this morning on their way to their field trip destination. The feeling of fear and sadness for those parents. The uncertainty of not knowing what they would encounter when they got to the hospital. It was overwhelming.

All I can think about are the possibilities. The idea of a bus crash has crossed my mind. The idea that my son will get lost at the zoo has crossed my mind. The idea that he will get hurt has crossed my mind. All of it has crossed my mind.

Then I woke up this morning and saw it was raining and I was sad for my little guy. He was looking forward to the zoo. And now it's raining. Yes, he'll get to go on Monday. And yes, he'll have fun. But still I was sad for him- slightly relieved for me. The worst case scenarios may abound but I am so excited that my son is going on his first field trip. I am so excited that he's getting to experience the zoo with his classmates. I am just so excited for him. I wish he was going today. 1) I'd be able to abandon my anxiety and not have to think about it over the weekend and 2) I would have wonderful stories to hear of all types of animals when I got home from work.

Monday will dawn. We'll pack his lunch in a Talbot's bag, again. And he'll be off to the zoo. I'll spend my day thinking of him and wondering if he's ok and imagining him feeding a goat or touching a cow and I'll smile. The worst case scenarios never outweigh the thoughts of fun and happiness. Well, almost never.


Sandi said...

You can't think like that or you'll go crazy. My son (almost 4) had now been on several field trips and my daughter (2) has been on two field trips. You can't believe how excited they are to when they get back from them. It's so adorable.

HRD said...

You do have monday off, so after or before your "fun" appointment.. you could go.. and spy.. or ask if they need a parent helper.. I do think it will be ok though and you will always feel this way, whether 3, 13, or 23. its ok..

LunaNik said...

I have to admit that I would either not let my kid go or I would go too. Why? Because I'm super paranoid about the bad stuff too. Plus, you've met my daughter. She is not shy. She is not afraid of strangers. She will wander off just to go chat with someone new. Hells no. If she's in public, then she's in my care. Period. But...I'm a freak like that. I totally envy that you are able to "cut the cord" long enough to let him enjoy himself.

ConverseMomma said...

I think I'm just going to have to be the parent chaperone on all these trip because seriously I am the helicopter mom that always needs to hover.

BusyDad said...

I totally do that too. Then I feel really guilty, as if just thinking about it will make it happen. Then I stop thinking about it, then I think
"well what if something happens and if I had thought about it, I could have taken a precaution..." and so it goes, driving me slowly crazy. The mind of a parent. Driven like no other.

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