The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


How A School Field Trip Got Tripped Up

With four high-octane children and a husband often away on business, my mother never had the energy to go on field trips with me when I was in school. So for my daughter’s first kindergarten trip – I wanted to be there to share this new experience.

I said I would drive to Muir Woods and could chaperone another child. Once there, my daughter, Mimi, darted ahead to her friend, Annali, and her mother, Sherry, while my charge, Aimee, lagged behind, as did Sherry’s chaperoned child, Lizzie.

“Go ahead,” I yelled to Sherry. “We’ll catch right up with you.”

We never did.

“Hurry up, girls,” I kept saying to Aimee and Lizzie.

They didn't hear me.

Out of some forty children and twenty adults -- Aimee, Lizzie and I were last.

At one point, a father, Peter, observing my situation, asked the one question that played like a Mobius Loop through my head.

“Wish you were with your daughter?”

“It’s kind of why I came,” I said.

Lizzie thrust her arms in the air toward me so they formed a giant V.

“Pick me up,” she said. “I’m really tired.”

This child, who I did not know, and whose life I was responsible for -- wanted me to pick her up? I'm sure she was very sweet, but she wasn't even the kid I was supposed to watch. 

Besides, I needed a pick-me up, too. Say a double-shot espresso latte grande? Actually -- two.

“How much longer?” I wearily asked another parent. 

To quote pretty much every kid I knew -- this was not fun.

“We’re almost there.”

“Hear that girls?” I said to my charges. “Let’s go!”

We raced, well, s-l-o-w-l-y walked, a few hundred more feet. And there, by the banister was Sherry, her daughter and mine.

“Mommy, Mommy, where were you?” Mimi asked.

“I was with Aimee and Lizzie,” I said, while hugging her. My deep embrace revealed to me just how very worried I had been. 

Mimi looked up. Her nose wrinkled, eyes confused. “Why weren’t you with me?”

It was the same query I would ask my mother when she didn't come on my field trips, while other mothers did. 

I apologized and made a mental note for our next field trip: stay very close to my own child, while still watching someone else's.

I put my arm around Mimi’s shoulders as we walked to the parking lot. Even if it was only a few minutes, and though it wasn’t exactly what I had planned, at least I did get to spend part of my daughter’s first field trip with her.

At least I tried.

By Dawn Yun

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