A lot has happened in the last few days. I chaperoned an all-day field trip to the “big” Minnesota Zoo, got Mason’s veggie garden ready for planting, and attended another Kids and Kin event at Sacred Paths.
Moving backwards through time, yesterday, was the zoo trip. It was fairly stressful. The way the teacher decided to handle the field trip was to assign each parent/chaperone a small group of four kids and told us to run free. I can’t imagine a better way, but this meant that all the responsibility for what we did, when, and where was down to me. Luckily, I know the zoo very well, having spent a lot of time there with Mason in the past. I asked my group (three boys and one girl) what they wanted to see on the bus ride out: Sharks! Wolverines! Monkeys!
I’d also decided on the way out that since there were only five of us total, I’d treat my group to a ride on the monorail. I figured that by the end of the day what I’d really want was a chance to sit down and not have to keep an eye on all four of them (since once the tram doors closed, they were stuck in one place.) Man, was I right! Plus, that way they got to see the animals without having to walk any further.
So, besides the monorail, we also saw the sharks (we went there first), Russia’s Grizzly coast (the leopard was the most cooperative, pacing back and forth right in front of the viewing glass), played in the new play ground “Woodland Wonderland”, had lunch with the rest of the class, and then did the Minnesota trail (where I gave each kid a punch sheet and told them it was a scavenger hunt to see if they could collect all the stamps,) and then, after the train ride, I thought we might have time to get out to the farm to see the farm babies – but they got distracted by the playground and I figured I’d just let them play until it was time to go to the bus.
I’m glad I gave us extra time, because I almost lost the girl – who, for reasons all her own, decided to run ahead and find the bus herself. She turned a corner and we completely lost sight of her. Worse, it was at an intersection of the "Woodland Wonderland" play area, the Grizzly Coast, AND the way back toward the aquarium. I thought, "This is it. I've officially lost a child. Parent FAIL!"
Luckily, we were close to a playground and I saw her heading back to it. We managed to even make it back to the bus on time and without further incident. All I can say is I was very, very lucky. Next time, I'm chaining those kids to me with adamanium!!
So I did nothing the rest of the day. What little energy I had left had been sucked out of me by the adrenalin rush of nearly losing track of one of my charges, and the squealy-ness of the bus ride home. We ordered a pizza and I played a few video games with Mason, tried to read a chapter or two (but my eyes kept crossing), and collapsed into a heap.
On Monday, I decided that I'd skip working out to work in the garden. There's a LOT to do in our yard. While I can't grow grass to save my soul, every seed that falls from the neighboring trees sprout and grow in inappropriate places like under the fence, next to the house, in the garden... you name it. If I don't want a tree there, it grows. HUGE. So I spent a lot of the morning ripping out junk trees with the new clippers I bought over the weekend at Menards. And, then, because that's a never ending job, I took a break to write. The sun called to me after an hour of writing, and so out I went to tackle the area that's become Mason's garden.
Mason, as I've mentioned before, somehow inherited my maternal grandmother's ability to throw seeds on the ground and have them sprout. Genetic osmosis, perhaps, but whatever it is, last year we dug up this little square of yard -- he stepped on a few seeds and we suddenly had a garden bursting with carrots, peas, corn and sunflowers. If I had planted it, we would have gotten nothing, as the birds would have eaten the seeds or some other disaster or blight would have killed anything that struggled up through the weeds.
Anyway, this year I decided it needed more definition. I had bought some bricks to edge the garden last year, but I wasn't happy with the way I had them arranged. So I did a bit of landscaping with the bricks and two of the pots we have for herbs -- rosemary and lavendar and set them in an artful arrangement. Now it looks great and is just waiting for Mason to work his magic.
Speaking of magic, we went to another Kids and Kin on Sunday. This one was even less formal than the last. It was an Earth Day celebration, which involved a walk over to a nearby park with the intention of picking up trash. We did that, although mostly Mason picked dandilions, violets, and pinecones. There wasn't a lot of trash, actually. I did find an abandoned fisbee. The "ritual" half consisted of play on the playground, which Mason opted out of. Not the most organized of the events, so far, but it's still a place where Mason can talk about the goddess and not have to explain what he means. That's something for now. Plus, next time is going to be Beltane/May Day, and we even have an extra meeting because Kids and Kin are in charge of making centerpieces for Sacred Path's Beltane pancake breakfast or something (I'm so not a part of this community, I have no idea. But, hey, I'm getting more involved!)
I feel like a lot more happened, but that's basically everything I can remember. I'm going to try to be more regular, but with the sun calling to me and gardening to do.....