In the last weeks of second grade, your class went on a field trip to PEAS Farm, a local agricultural learning center that sends a farmer to your classroom throughout the year to talk about planting and harvesting and then invites you to tour the farm at the end of the year. This is a more hippie-dippie vegetarian version of that field trip you went on last year where we learned about putting cattle down with a bolt gun and then I couldn't sleep for a week. I chaperoned this one, too, and you still seem to be excited about having me along, though your enthusiasm is waning. It happens.
A few months before this, your class had a field trip to the Wildlife Film Festival. You begged me to meet you there, but once we were seated in the university theatre, you decided to upgrade and moved up to sit with your friends. I sat alone at the back of the theatre for about ten minutes before I realized I didn't HAVE to sit and watch a long, meandering documentary about the effects of low oxygen on the hummingbirds of Peru. Because I'm a grown up! With a car! And a license! Woo hoo! FREEDOM. I waved goodbye on that one and met you at home later.
But again this June, you asked me to go to the end of year trip to the farm and I signed up. The teacher said "We'll give you an easy group - all girls." That woman played a low-down dirty trick on me, because while boys may push and shove, girls SHRIEK FOR NO REASON. Walking around with eleven second grade girls was like being trapped in a bubble of high-pitched cacophony. I heard all the girls hit a decibel that could shatter glass and when I went running over to see what the fuss was, certain that Justin Bieber had joined our group, I discovered them pointing at A CHICKEN.
Being Missoula, everyone we know has a chicken in their backyard, but this one was worth squealing over and petting.
And some of those girls were downright mean - "I'm not holding your hand because I'm HER friend today." It was like a little window into your teen years and I was terrified.
I rode the bus to this one, so I was stuck with y'all. And the chicken.
Call me next year if your class goes to the Museum of Sign Language and Margaritas.