I signed up to be a parent chaperone for my son’s field trip. And let me tell you, it was some trip!
I actually began the day thinking they would cancel it. The plan was to explore a pumpkin patch with 1st and 2nd graders. But it was cold and rainy, and it had rained all week.
“They’ll send me a text or email if they cancel, right?” I mumbled to Courtney. But the cancellation never came.
After driving to the school, we gathered together in the gym as the parents and little ones got ready to embark on the muddiest field trip you’ve ever imagined. Just before we got on the bus, a teacher who laughed at us and seemed anxious, gave us an eclectic group of umbrellas.
It looked like a pile of sticks taken from a dozen different trees, none the same size or design.
But the kids were happy. All of them. Each one full of energy and smiling as they awaited their “big field trip,” some going on their very first.
I prayed for the rain to stop as I sat in the back with my group of boys, showing them a map of the patch. They excitedly debated which ride or attraction we were going to hit up first.
But I knew something they didn’t.
There will be NO human gerbil wheel or bouncy pad if the rain continued... and the view outside gave no hope for that. It was grey, rainy, and COLD.
Our first exhibit was under a covered patio-like area with picnic tables. We heard a story of a square pumpkin that saved all the round pumpkins because he couldn’t be pushed around by the wind.
The kids enjoyed it. I was freezing, lol.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good story. But as soon as she said “he was the only square pumpkin,” I knew where it was headed. And it wasn’t toward a nice fire with hot chocolate!
Then we took a hayride tour around the grounds. It was still raining. My group of boys got the wagon without the nice side covering, so we got to enjoy the moist atmosphere even more so than the other half of our class.
But the kids were happy.
The teachers then decided to cut the trip short. “Let’s eat lunch, then head back.” That was a 3-hour departure ahead of time. No parent complained or objected.
My group never got to experience the human gerbil wheel, even though we did catch a glimpse of it off in the distance on our “waterpark ride.” We were wet from head to toe. NOTHING went as planned.
But we had fun. Real fun.
On the ride back to school we played “sticks” and rock-paper-scissors. We laughed and got to enjoy new friendships with one another.
It was the wettest, coldest, most cancel-worthy field trip I’ve ever experienced, and I loved it. I got to meet some of Samuel’s classmates, teachers, and friends. I learned how to play “sticks” for the first time. I even held the champion title for 10 miles until a 2nd grader ruined my streak. But this story’s not about him.
And I got to sit on the back of the bus with my firstborn son. He even asked to sit with me... tear.
I rode back to Newton with another dad. We talked about life and he really encouraged me about an issue I didn’t have figured out. That in itself was an answer to prayer.
When I got home, Courtney asked how it went. She was undoubtedly expecting frustration and regret in my response. But I really had a great time.
I realized that when I think of experiences, I mostly think of relationship now. And my wet, muddy, cold day was full of new and encouraging relationships. And that made it great.
May God bless you with new relationships and times of fun with those you love.
I’ll see y’all on Sunday as we continue our study through Genesis. You’re not going to believe what Abraham does... again. But boy am I glad that God knows what to do with us when we don’t know what to do with ourselves!