On Friday my son had his first school trip. I don’t know how much of it he’ll remember when he’s older since he’s only in pre-school and not even 3 yet. The trip took place at a farm where they grow berries in the summer and make apple cider in the fall and winter. There was going to be a hay ride, farm animals and learning how apple cider is made. My son was excited for his first school trip and couldn’t wait to go.
It’s interesting as a parent to see how your child is going to react to new experiences. I thought that my son was going to be completely captivated by the animals and whatever the tour guide was saying, but while he enjoyed the hay ride and seeing the machine that makes apple cider after that he kind of lost interest. Instead he wanted to collect rocks, walk in the puddles and kept asking me when he can go on the mechanical airplane rides. Try as I might I couldn’t get him to stay with the group. As a mother and an educator I started asking myself all sorts of questions. Is he too young to be part of a group (it was a rather large one)? Does he get overwhelmed? Overstimulated? Is this a bad thing and should I start worrying that at 2 1/2 he is better at small gatherings than he is with large groups of people. Questions, questions so many of them.
In a way Henry has always been like this. He loves people and will confidently talk to them or sing for them if they let him, but perhaps like so many kids, unless the subject matter is interesting to them you kind of lose them and that’s kind of what happened on this trip. Collecting rocks, wanting to ride airplanes (who can blame him) and walking through puddles was far more interesting to him at that moment. Long after he’s forgotten about the hay ride and apple trees I hope my son will one day look back at these photos and see himself as I saw him; sweet, independent, a little geologist who was perfectly content to walk in mud and splash in water. If he ever forgets who he is I’ll show him these photos and help him remember.