Yesterday was Connor's first field trip of the year. It was to Western Fair, which is London's (larger) equivalent of the ANE or the Fredericton Exhibition. No, the kids didn't get to ride the rides, but they did do some pretty cool stuff. They saw an ultrasound of a pregnant goat, they watched a milking machine working, they saw an awesome "Birds of Prey" show, they touched a crocodile, and (Connor's favourite) they saw a demonstration of how manure is used to generate electricity — among other things. It was very interesting, and showed the kids why Western Fair actually exists (ie. not for rides), and I'm glad I got to experience it with Connor. However, I began to wonder when the teachers are going to get sick of seeing my face every time they go on a field trip.
Since we've moved, Connor has gone on four or five field trips, and I have accompanied him on each one as a parent volunteer. When he asked me to go this time, my response was "Connor, do you really think I should go on all the field trips?" He assured me that he really wanted me to go, so I did. And while I was there I noticed something.
All the same moms go on all the field trips! These faces are beginning to become very familiar to me. Sure, there are occasionally a few dads sprinkled in among the moms, but in general it is the same women that volunteer for every field trip. I'm not alone. I realized that this is how I'm going to get to know people. These are the parents of my children's friends and the people whose concerns are the same as mine. We share a lot in common, and we will be thrown together often, so we might as well get to know each other!
We arrived back at the school an hour before dismissal time. As I was driving out of the parking lot, I invited one of the other moms to join me for coffee. She immediately accepted and hopped into my van. We had a lovely conversation over cappuccinos at Tim Hortons. As we drove back to the school to collect our children she promised to return the favour soon.
Maybe field trips are as good for me as they are for my kids...