The experience left me wondering why Middle School Teachers don't earn hazard pay. Because these kids are too old to use many of the organizational methods of Elementary kids, but not possessed of as much self-discipline as High School kids. They're on the border of everything, and completely exhausting.
I was assigned a group of ten kids. 3 girls, 7 boys. All of them Middle School awkward and also pretty nice.
Still, the group was squirrely and loud. They ran and jumped. And so help me Baby Buddah, one of them sang The Wheels on The Bus until I started to contemplate the consequences of beating him with my shoe.
I didn't, of course. Because hitting kids is wrong. Even if it's super tempting from time to time. And the poor kid thought he was keeping us all amused. 12 year old humor is the kind of humor I think you may have to be 12 to really appreciate.
I kept thinking that despite the noise and the repetitive children's songs, I was really glad I was able to go. My parents never did field trips with me, as they were busy in their own schools and their own classrooms.
I learn things on these field trips. And not just how scientists discovered that the Monarch Butterflies were migrating to Mexico every winter. Although, that does happen to be a really interesting story.
I learned that Piper, while thinking butterflies are beautiful, is terrified of real ones. Her reaction to being in the exhibit with live butterflies, was something along the lines of someone putting me in a room with live spiders that could crawl on me. I let her leave, and sit outside of the butterfly house before she started to hyperventilate.
I also learned that my daughter is proud of me, and likes for people to know that I'm her mom. Which is...humbling, actually.
And while there is nothing like spending several hours with sixty 12 year olds to realize how lucky you are to come home to a house full of kids that you feel very comfortable telling to be quiet, I think I'm especially lucky to have a preteen daughter who still loves me and actually wants me around for things.
Maybe I don't completely suck at this mom job.
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