Today was mommy-the-chaperone day. Mia's 1st grade class was walking down to the Hudson River to learn about habitats.
Once all the kids were in school, I promised them I'd chaperone class trips whenever I could. This promise has been especially important to Mia. Don't know why. Maybe because she's the only girl. Maybe because we butt heads a lot. Maybe it's just because she's Mia.
Last night she was all in a tizzy... Mommy what if something happens... what if you can't go... I have this bad feeling that something's gonna happen and you won't be able to go...
So I assured her that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would prevent me from being there. Big hug, big sigh of relief.
So this morning at 9:11 I'm leaving for the 9:15 rendezvous. Grab keys, camera, phone... where's the dog?.. backyard?... no dog... upstairs?... no dog... downstairs?... no dog no fuckin dog ohno ohshit ohshit where's the fuckin dog? I'm yelling for the dog up and down the block like a lunatic. no dog 9:14 ok... I have to go...ok pleasepleaseplease don't let the dog get mowed down by some idiot teenager driving too fast...don't let the doggiepolice take him away for peeing in public without a license. Please let him be the smart loyal dog that he is and come back home. I'm thinking my kids are strong and resilient but if they have to endure one more loss this year they may just crumble.
So I get to school. Mia's so happy relieved to see me. And off we go. Ms. Teacher, a handful of parents, and 23 hundred kids. Mostly girls. Only 4 boys. aye aye aye. The girls are all over the place. There's a feeble attempt at holding your partners hand and lining up by twos
you know the drill. Yeah, that wasn't happening today.
So why aren't the 6 year olds listening and following the rules??? I don't know... could be their teacher. Ms.Teacher... really sweet, really friendly, but sooo ADD. Scattered, disorganized, distractible. Totally spazzy. As I'm trying to corral the girls onto the sidewalk so THEY don't get mowed down by some idiot teenager driving too fast, she comes trotting up to me...ummm...mia'smom... funny how I loose my identity when I'm in mom mode - no first name - no last name...ummm...can I ask you a medical question?? A medical question? Like how long will it take the ambulance to get here when one of these errant little girls gets squashed like a grape? Sure, no problem. Ms. Teacher proceeds to ask me about her sick toddler. Now let me say that I honestly don't mind roadside medicine. I don't mind giving medical guidance outside the office. I've been stopped by patients in the mall. I've been stopped by patients in Walmart at midnight don't ask. I've been stopped by patients in family court (right J?) But really...can't this wait until the 23 hundred kids are safe and sound at the dock and not using the double yellow as a balance beam? OK, so I answer her questions, and give her some advice, and it seems I was able to set her mind at ease. Ms. Teacher thanks me and says I hope it's ok that I asked you...I asked Mia once what she thought you would say about this rash my baby had on her cheeks... wait, seriously?? Yes, Ms. Teacher is asking my 7 year old for medical advice too. And by her own admission she sure did take Mia's advice. oh lord
Eventually, we all got to the dock in one piece. God is great. It's a beautiful day, by a beautiful river, with my beautiful Mia.
Lots of questions from lots of little girls while holding lots of little girl hands...you're Mia's mom??? skeptical sideways glance you don't look like Mia...yes she does, her skin's just darker...but Mia's hair is blonde...but they both have curly hair...oh yeah big smile you do look like Mia
Learning about the Hudson... maybe a little boring for the girls... they picked flowers and found pretty rocks and chatted, the way girls will do. Very entertaining for me.
The return trip was slightly less hazardous than the trip down. No blood, no ambulances.