Thursday, June 08, 2006

my first field trip

today was my first field trip as a father.

no. 1's preschool had an excursion today to a science center about a block from his school. he seemed ultra-proud of himself, as he got to show off what he does at school on a normal day, and i have to say that i was more than duly impressed. and i started thinking again about how fucking lucky and blessed i am with my kids. then i started looking around at the other children in his class. no. 1 is in a developmental preschool, and most of the students in his class are considerably less functional. and with a burning behind my eyes and in the back of my throat, i thought for the millionth time, there but for the grace...

my boy scout experience and six weeks of basic training came in handy as we walked in a double-line to the science building. i was handed an pole with an orange flag, "stop" printed across the vinyl, and immediately thought, road guards, out!

at the center, we were going to learn about bugs. glass case displays with carefully-pinned beetles and butterflies were laid out for us to peruse, and fish, frogs, and hermit crabs mosied around their respective habitats.

we split into two groups, one to go outside and gather bugs, the other to talk to the major about the bugs on display in the lab.

i was in the group to go outside first, and we collected leaf bugs and spit bugs. one or two lucky kids captured ants.

then inside to look at mosquitoes, large plastic models of various bug heads, and more bugs in terrariums. no. 1 and i both held hissing cockroaches. (and i know some of you are saying "ew", but it was cool, and no. 1 laughed the whole time the roach was in his hand.)

as i watched my son getting excited over crabs and chrysali, i started to recapture that pure unadulterated joy of discovery that kids have. the feeling that everything is new, and exciting, and magical. how something as simple as an uninteresting bug the size of a pinhead is virtually full of wonder. i began again to feel my own awe at having been allowed to be a part of this child's (and my other's) life.

here's to many more field trips.

darth sardonic


Blogger Courtney said...

I was totally with you till the bug holding thing. Loved the rest of it.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Validate said...

Darth the field trips are the tip of the iceberg man. There is so much wonder and joy to be captured from the everyday interactions with our kids that I dont even know where to begin. You said a mouthful.
Also I have been backreading your blog. Great stuff. I appreciate your sharing and enjoy the reads very much.

8:15 PM  

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