Lessons From a School Field-trip

3:13 AM

The annual school field-trip is something which my children always look forward to.  It doesn't matter where they are going as their excitement do not waver.  My son had his two weeks ago which passed uneventfully but my youngest daughter's turn yesterday was more than we expected.


My youngest daughter is especially difficult to wake up in the morning.  For a school day that starts at 7 am, you can just imagine the stress we go through on a daily basis in having to repeatedly wake her up to eat, take a bath, and dress up.  It is truly a test of wills between mother and daughter which often leads to frustration and grumpy mornings.

In my children's school, students are accompanied by a parent or guardian in field-trips until the second grade.  I was tasked to be the companion of my daughter for this year and was actually glad to do it since this will be the last time for me or my husband to accompany any of our children in this kind of activity. Next year, she will have to be on her own just like her older brother.

The Field-trip Day

The assembly time set for the field-trip was 5:30 am.  Many people would think that my daughter's excitement will make her wake up earlier than usual but this wasn't so.  This morning, we were on the same mother-daughter routine of alternately cajoling and forcing her to speed up her actions so we can make it on time.  There were also some aggravating circumstances that happened the night before which only permitted me two hours of sleep prior to waking up.

Harried and already exhausted very early in the morning, I wasn't exactly feeling well enough to go on a field-trip to the zoo but nothing will stop this day for my daughter.  We arrived in her school, literally jumping out of the car as soon as it stopped, and running as fast as we can with our packed food and my daughter's extra clothes plus an umbrella because it was raining.  The moment I saw the expression on the sisters' face at the lobby, I knew there was something wrong.  The school is handled by a group of religious sisters who make it a point to greet the students in the morning. 

Left Behind

And then I heard the words:  The last bus has already left about 10 minutes ago.  Bus number 6 which was our bus, left much earlier. We were left behind because we were late. 

I froze in an instant, then I looked at my daughter whose tears were already welling in her eyes.  My daughter's great disappointment probably pierced through the sisters' hearts that they almost instantaneously acted to find a way.  They called up my daughter's adviser who was in Bus number 6 and inquired from her about their exact location.  Apparently, Bus number 6 was caught in a major traffic choke point and was therefore delayed.  The sisters then instructed the adviser to wait for us in a designated gasoline station in the highway and then instructed my husband and I to find a shortcut to meet the bus in the designated place without causing any further delay.  

The Pursuit of Bus Number 6

If you know my husband and I well enough, you will know what will come next in this story.  We were off in pursuit of Bus number 6 the moment the sisters finished their instructions.  My husband drove the car, I was on the cellphone in direct communication with the adviser, and my daughter was in charge of praying to keep us safe and to help us reach our destination in time. When it comes to our children, we will overcome the impossible, much more if we were the given the slimmest of a chance.  We came about 10 minutes ( a miracle by itself) after the bus did and after much apologies to other parents and children, my daughter and I finally occupied our seats.

Learning from the Field-trip Destinations

Our first stop was the Avilon Montalban Zoological Park.  As expected, the children were introduced to various animal species.  It was more or less a two-hour trek which the children didn't seem to mind, filled with wonder and awe for these creatures they don't regularly see
in their lives. 

The second and final stop was the Araneta Coliseum to watch the Disney Live "Mickey's Rockin' Road Show".  There was much excitement from the children as familiar characters like Cinderella, Tigger, Woody, Jesse, and Buzz Lightyear were introduced into the show by the gang composed of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck.  The only setback was that much of the other activities like the interaction of the characters with the public and the shower of confetti were concentrated on the audience nearest the stage which somehow made the rest of the audience including us merely spectators of fun rather than being part of it.  Before we knew it, it was time to go home but the entire day was over-all a pleasant learning experience.

My Say

Long after my daughter has forgotten all the names of the animals she was introduced to and long after she has gotten over her excitement with the gown worn by Cinderella in the show, I know she will retain in her mind the importance of punctuality.  Being a parent, I often find myself  protecting my children from the possible consequences of their actions.  In the case of my young daughter, it was a long overdue lesson of the consequences of slacking even when there are strict time requirements to be observed.

That said, I now realize that life will teach my children hard lessons, whether I like it or not.  I knew she had it coming but I never had the heart to teach it myself in the fear of hurting her.  I am just thankful that she learned the value of punctuality aside from a whole lot about the animal kingdom.  But most of all, I knew she realized that we needed her to do her part especially in times when we, her parents have other major concerns to attend to.

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  1. I'm sure your daughter learned a lot from the trip to the zoo and Mickey's Rockin' Road Show and of course, the more important lesson on punctuality.

  2. For my daughter's sake, I sincerely hope so.

  3. Awww I miss going on field trips every year. Those trips really are the highlight of my school year. I get to bond with my classmates outside the school and be exposed to different places and learn new things.

  4. Your daughter is a cutie! I would have done the same, battling traffic hihi, I also go with my kids when they have a field-trip those in the city, it happens almost twice a month, in museums and other places kids should learn about to be more in contact with history.

  5. I miss going to field trips, the school of my daughter now does not attend fieldtrips sigh!

  6. I still remember the times that I go to our school field trips. the memories and fun are so worth remembering!

  7. When I was still teaching in Butuan City, Philippines, we had once a field trip in Corregidor with some side trips in Manila. I witnessed how my high school students enjoyed it. Being to so many educational places including Malacanan Palace, being with friends was also one of the most unforgettable time they had.

  8. I bet the little one had so much fun on the field trip. :)

  9. FIELD TRIP is a tiring yet exciting activity. Kids will surely learn a lot of new things. She looks overwhelmingly happy.

  10. A lesson in punctuality learned the hard way. Effective, I must admit :). What's important is you and your daughter had a fun time, despite the early morning stress. I'm sure from now on, she's going to start hustling during the daily morning rush to school :)

  11. great experience for a great lesson! i wonder what happened the week after? no more cajoling?

  12. your daughter is cute :) how was your field trip pretty girl? i bet she had a blast looking at the different kinds of animals at the zoo.

  13. Aww, tons of lessons from a single trip. As for me, I don't really know if I would let my daughters join field trips in school anytime soon (my eldest is in nursery). I have a phobia of letting young kids join field trips and I prefer doing family trips instead.

  14. OMG, the catching up with bus #6 was as stressful , i bet, as waking up your daughter at 530 am :) But I'm sure you can laugh about it now, and I hope your daughter also learned some lessons from all of this :)


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