So, it’s field trip day. I’m getting the kids ready as they arrive, making sure they have their lunches, backpacks, swimming suits, etc. We’ve planned a trip to the Seattle Center to play in the fountain since it’s been 80 degrees lately, although today is damp and dreary of course. We often go the center to do other activities and never have enough time to stop and just play in the water. I promised one day we would go and do just that – play in the fountain all day long. While I’m getting them ready, kids just keep coming: siblings, friends, kids crawling out from under rocks. Finally we set off with eighteen kids and four adults.

We got on the bus and of course got the bus driver that thinks we are too loud but we are most definitely not too loud – we could give him too loud if we wanted to. Half way through the trip, over the intercom he tells us we are TOO LOUD but of course it’s Community School and my class, so everyone just keeps on talking as if the bus driver’s voice was just the wind blowing their hair a bit. We also saw our old friend, Jamaica both times we got on the bus today – so very serendipitous!

We finally get off the bus after our hour long ride and begin walking toward the center. It is freezing of course – of all the days. It was suppose to be hot and humid and here we are shivering as we walk toward the center. A few yards from our destination, I stop the group and say; “It’s too cold to play in the fountain today, let’s go the Pacific Science Center to see the dinosaur exhibit – everyone cheered. (The fountain was closed off anyway! I had just said to Lily early in the week; “What if the fountain is closed? Hmm) We headed over to the Center House for lunch. Last time we were here, I got them ice cream and they soon began to beg to have ice cream just like our last visit. I found us fudge instead (we didn’t quite have enough money for everyone to get a cone.) And everyone was happy.

After lunch we started with a little water science.

Then we headed over to the Colossal Fossil exhibit.

We got to touch a real dinosaur leg bone!

The Butterfly House.

We all met up at two o’clock to catch the 22 bus back to school. We made it with plenty of time and hung out, playing, arguing, losing our bus money, reading The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly (sorry!) Then we spied our bus, gathered our gear and got in line. The bus pulled up, the driver opened the door and said; “I’m too full” and before we could respond or figure something out, he pulled away with an obviously not FULL bus load. We were all very upset and decided we were going to write letter’s to Metro on Monday in protest of leaving us stranded on First Avenue for another thirty minutes (doing finger math.)

We decided to walk to see if we could catch the 54 bus but even though we walked many blocks the next 22 bus caught up to us. As the kids were gearing up to get on the bus Lily said; “Don’t scare the bus driver” and while I was trying to get everyone to move quietly and slowly toward the bus my tongue got tied up in sarcasm and frustration and I meant to light-heartedly say; “For once I’m going to say Everyone Be Good.” (I’m not one to tell anyone how to be or feel or act when it comes to good or bad and I never use those terms.) But out of my tied tongue came; “For once, be good.” Ooops! I was so anxious about getting us back to school and I was trying to make light of the situation – but they know I think they are the best kids in the entire world!

I was so afraid we were going to keep getting left behind but this bus driver was super nice. And on the crowded bus with another rowdy school group, I realized just how much I do expect our kids to behave and be respectful of others. I think field trips teach me more than they teach anyone else. If having one or two kids doesn’t give you enough guilt and second guessing, having eighteen will surely do it!

All in all, it was a great adventure – even if it did shorten my life span just a tad!

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