2.17.2010

IMAX, Rodeo and Mom-Guilt

Today's 'Mom Moment' is a moment of Mom-guilt. Yes, that ever-present emotion we feel when we've let our kid down. Or when we think we've let them down, which amounts to the same thing.

Exactly two weeks ago, I chaperoned Thalia's 3rd grade class on their field trip to the IMAX Theater/Planetarium. Actually, there were so many parents on board that there wasn't enough room for us at the Planetarium, so we only had to accompany them to the movie and the planned lunch at the park. And then it rained outrageous cats and dogs, so lunch at the park was canceled. Poor kiddos, but at least the IMAX film, National Geographic's Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, was really cool and of course, educational. (Did you know that Sacagawea took her infant son along for the entire trip, including the crazy downstream ride in an out of control canoe?!)

Today was Carys's first field trip ever, to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. She cried and cried when I told her the other day that I wouldn't be accompanying her class. I explained to her that because of my recent surgery, I can neither drive nor walk long distances yet, to which she cried accusingly, "Why are you still sick?!" I felt sad and awful about missing her first and only kindergarten field trip. And I even love going to the Stock Show and Rodeo! Then she threw out the real killer: "But you went on Thalia's field trip!" Enter Mom-guilt, big time.

This morning, Carys was rather obstinate and wouldn't get ready for school. I had to intervene and reminded her that today was her FIELD TRIP! She was going to have so much fun! (Without me.) And see all the baby animals! (I'd miss so many great photo opps.) And have lunch at the Rodeo! (Some other Mom would carry her lunch.) I was sad when they left for school. (Without me.)

I was able to pick the girls up from school for the first time since before my surgery, with Mom's help of course, and Carys was just full of stories about her special day. About the baby chicks and the pigs and milking the cow. And the bounce house! Not to mention the chocolate milk they all drank at lunch and the free ice cream, "only vanilla though." Then taking a nap on the bus ride back to school! I was so happy that her first field trip was such a good day, but sad again to have missed it first hand.

Ironically, I never chaperoned Thalia's kindergarten, first grade or second grade classes' field trips either! There was always some reason why I couldn't be there, and oddly enough, I felt little to no guilt about missing them. At the same time, I chaperoned Thalia and her Girl Scout friends nearly every month (sometimes more) on Girl Scout field trips, so perhaps that made up for the deficit.

But it's a little bit different when it's your 'baby' and your last chance to experience all of the elementary school 'firsts' one more time. Carys had a splendid time without me--of course she would--but I wish I had been there too.

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