For two months, I had been telling the girls about this field trip to some local caves that we were doing with the local homeschool group. I know, for some people, homeschooling seems to mean endless field trips to libraries and dairy farms. I had those illusions, too. The reality is that we go days on end just trying to make it through the stinking math workbook in between changing dirty diapers and the three year old’s requests for “just one more Dora, please, ma’am.”
It’s not like we never go anywhere. There are those times we finally run out of Pop-Tarts and must brave a trip to the grocery store. I go up and down each aisle with my gaggle of geese as if I have a complicated shopping list. Just point me to the pasta aisle, for crying out loud. We all know I’m making spaghetti at least one night. My point is we do not get out as much as I imagined we would.
So, I was sort of disappointed when it rained for three days and I feared the field trip would be a no-go. I discussed it with the girls and they were, oddly enough, totally okay with not going. I called my mother, who lives an hour away, told her she did not need to drive up and accompany me because we were not going. That was that.
But, then, we woke up yesterday morning and the sun was shining. Should we go? I couldn’t decide. We had an hour and a half to be there. I would have to take them on my own. Okay, let’s do this. I tell the girls to put on some clothes and brush their teeth to which they reply, “Is it grocery store day?”
I then remembered that we were supposed to pack a picnic lunch. My nine year old throws some lunch meat on some bread. I grab some cheese sticks, some cheerios and a water bottle and we’re off. We show up and the picnic tables are all full of kids. We find a spot and begin eating. We must be late because these folks were finishing up and moving out. So, we pack up quickly and begin to line up. This is only our second field trip so we don’t have the routine down just yet. As we are leaving, I realize all of the adults have t-shirts on with the name of a local elementary school. Oops.
We sit back down and watch as another group begins to fill the tables. It was our group this time. So as not to look foolish, I unpack our lunch boxes and we nibble on the crust of the sandwiches we had already eaten. Then, it’s our turn to pack up and line up for the boat ride through the caves. Only it’s not going to be a boat ride now. We are informed that, due to excessive rain, the caves were flooded and we would be doing a walking tour instead. A walking tour. Through the mud. With four kids. One of those kids weighs 20 pounds and must be carried. Oh, and with me wearing flip flops.
That’s okay. I’m an outdoorsy, roughing it kind of girl except that I’m totally not.
Three hours later, we emerge on the other side of the trail covered in mud and mosquito bites. I must say, I kept a pretty good attitude. There was that one moment when I gave the woman my “if you ask one more question about this cave I’m going to show you all kinds of crazy” look. Yeah, there was that. In my defense, I was standing ankle deep in mud while wearing flip flops and my daughter had lost her pacifier about a quarter mile back. It was time to wrap this party up.
When we got home, I promptly deleted the email listing the field trips for the remainder of the school year. A woman must know her limits, y’all.
I fell asleep in the chair listening to the girls talk about how much fun they had almost getting to ride a boat and how totally cool it was that they didn’t have to stay home and do math.
I’m calling it a win, folks.