Photo: Ursa Major’s 1st grade class visited Good Hope Beach in Gloucester (Glawh-staah in Boston-Speak. Or perhaps Glaaaah-Stah? That might be a different dialect of Boston-Speak) today to collect sea creatures for the tidal pool in their classroom. It was my first ever visit to Gloucester and the beach was lovely. We’re still looking for a beach to regularly visit. This could be it. Though parking is supposedly $25 in the summer season, which is ridiculous.
I def earned some Awesome Mom Points by volunteering as a chaperone on Major’s field trip today. I’m going to own up to a little of my Suburban Mom Worrying though: they sent us the permission slip a whole week before school started and I looked and the date and said what? A beach 1 hour away? On the second week of school? Haven’t even looked the teacher in the eye yet? I… I’d better go. Just in case?
Why? I dunno. I didn’t really know how Major was going to do. It seemed far to take my 1st grader so soon.
Ok ok! I said I’d own my Suburban Mom crazy! Ok? I’m owning it! I didn’t need to go on this trip! This was about me and my issues.
Major was fine. It helped that I brought his tablet so he had something to do during the ride. It certainly made a difference in his behavior. Kiddos who didn’t have something to do got bored and went crazy. Especially during the ride home. Major and his little buddy played Monument Valley and seemed to be ok.
Watching Major out there made me think a lot about who he is now and who I’d like him to be in the future. I was really proud to watch him cheer on others as they found crabs and fish. He dutifully (and joyfully) went in search of creatures independently, not needing the eyes of other kids. He filled up his little wagon with seaweed and hermit crabs, but was disappointed when he couldn’t find a “real” crab. In the last few minutes before heading to lunch, he found one. “I found a crab!” He screamed with delight and started chasing it with his net. A few kids cornered it with him, and another kid picked it up and took it to the teacher, taking credit for finding it.
I had one of those Mom moments when I wanted to say something. I was standing with the teacher. I almost said, “Actually, [Major] found it. He was working on getting it in his own net.” Just to give Major the credit. Just to be that person who to say the words on principle.
But Major said, “I found a real crab, Mommy! And I… helped that other guy get it!” And then he went on looking for more.
What I learned on this field trip is that Major really is fine at school. He’s making his way. There is a lot to navigate. There are so many different kinds of kids, each with their own ideas of what is right, wrong, acceptable. There are the rules of school and learning a new adult and their expectations. That all co-mingles with the strong set of expectations we’ve set here at home. And then, well… let’s just say three separate girls went out of their way to say hello to my son on the beach today. I send that boy out into the world and he learns a lot of lessons. He said last week, “you have no idea how difficult 1st grade is.” He’s right. I forgot.
It all makes me proud. And optimistic. And worried. And joyful. And grateful. Most of all, grateful. I am profoundly lucky and blessed by my two sons.
On Monday night, I had my chat with my story coach/editor. She and I have built a relationship all through Spring and Summer, all culminating in my sending her the outline and foundation materials for my novel, Silverwood. Though we’ve been pen pals for months, hearing her voice for the first time made me tear up a little bit. I’m feeling very lucky to have found her, and I’m really not quite sure how I earned such good fortune. She was encouraging, she really gets my writing, she sees my vision and she seems pretty confident that I can bring this story to life.
So, I get started next week. Monday morning, it’s going to be me, coffee, and a blank page.
And you know what that means? I get to go notebook shopping! Yay!!
I mean, I have a notebook for this… I don’t need go to notebook shopping…
Notebook shopping! Yay!
Ok, I’m clearly tired. It’s time to power down and sleep. Another day awaits with plenty to do.
It’s midweek and I hope you are well, Dear Reader. I hope you are giving it your all. I hope you are taking care of yourself. I write a lot about gratitude. I know that I don’t write it often enough, but I’m so grateful for you and the time you choose to spend reading my blog. Thank you, Dear Reader, for sharing the middle of your week with me.
See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.