We Had a Field Day


I’ve never been one to wish the rain to go away. I realize it’s the rain that makes the world green, our food grow and it’s the rain that finally washes off all the chalk graffiti in the driveway. But yesterday at Kate’s kindergarten field trip to the zoo, I wished for it with all my heart.

As I sat on a wet bench in the whipping, bone chilling rain at noon, barely able to clutch my tuna sandwich between my numb fingers (and wash it down with my ice cold drink,) I couldn’t help but think that I could’ve been unloading the dishwasher in my own warm, cozy house, listening to the soft sounds of Go Diego Go in the background. I could’ve been wearing fresh socks from the dryer, eating warm soup, or snuggling a toasty napping baby. Why did I have to check that darn volunteer box?

But then I looked over at my equally chilled six year old. She had insisted wearing her new ballet flats and her toes were frozen solid. Her once coiffed hair was now damp and windblown, tumbling out of her headband. She looked as miserable as I felt sucking on the Go-Gurt I had so cleverly stashed in the freezer the night before. (Mind you, I still had a cheery “what a memory we’re making!” attitude on the outside.) I was glad I could be there for her. Her misery would’ve been compounded if she had had to tag along with a chaperon she didn’t know.

So we ditched our body numbing sodas in the trash and made a mad dash to the reptile house–indoors.  Bless the zoo keeper that designed this tropical indoor paradise. It was heavenly. I guess all those cold blooded snakes and crocs (yes, there were crocodiles) like to crank up the heat and flip on the humidifier too. Soon our limbs were defrosted and our hair was dry. We stayed for quite a while learning about the snake-necked turtle and how to tell the difference between a poisonous corral snake and a benign king snake, and why scorpions glow under a black light. It’s amazing what a few dozen well placed sheets of plexiglass can do. They turned what would otherwise be a house of terror into a lovely house of learning.

By the time we got out of our little paradise, the rain had let up. We raced around the rest of the zoo and saw leopards, tigers and cougars, oh my. And before we knew it, it was time to head back to the bus. Mission adventure completed!

Today I’m home. I’ve already unloaded the dishwasher, I have on dry socks and hot soup is on the menu for lunch. It’s going to be a nice, relaxing day I think.

But it sure isn’t a field day.


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