Haydan’s school had two field trips planned this year. I signed up for both of them well in advance to be certain I would be there to experience her first field trips!
They have all been fun, but then they threw one out at us last minute. Apparently another grade level that works with our little ones by mentoring them was planning on visiting Sea World for one of their field trips. I got the email that our kids would be invited to join them on their field trip as an ‘extra’/‘bonus’ field trip. I decided not to volunteer as a chaperone for this one..
Now, let me tell ya—I was a Sea World FANATIC growing up as a child. I had a Free Willy T-shirt that I proudly wore in my 2nd grade class photo with my brand new Payless sneakers purchased specifically for picture day. I was so proud in that Free Willy shirt with my awkward second grade horse teeth that were shining nearly as brightly as that sweet Free Willy shirt.
To make things even more exciting—my uncle had a home that was in Vancouver in a beautiful cove. The producers of Free Willy 2 actually contacted them about using his dock and ‘gangway’ or whatever you call the walkway to the dock, in the second film. He had it custom built and it was beautiful—-and the producers of the movie wanted to film scenes using it! I mean, come on, to a second grader—THAT IS HUGE!!! Every young girl had a crush on Jesse from Free Willy, and even more so, had a tender heart for Willy the whale!
I am not certain when my Sea World guilt started creeping up on me but I remember as a kid the excitement I would feel when visiting one of their parks and then the guilt I would feel as I saw the whales/dolphins/etc. in those tanks…and then I would do an immediate mental recap of Jesse helping/releasing Willy FREE INTO THE OCEAN (!!!)…and my mini guilt session would begin.
Then..came Blackfish. I don’t know what the hell I was expecting out of that. I mean, I knew that it would be awful for someone (me) who had lingering guilt every visit to Sea World…but I watched it anyways. I cried like a blubbering idiot and swore up and down I would never visit that place again. Regardless how ‘educational’ or how much they ‘help sea life awareness’ and whatever else they claim they are doing right.
The kids trip was planned for last week but got bumped up a week because of the weather and fires. So, Sunday afternoon, I did what I thought was right—-I shot the teachers an email asking if they needed any extra hands seeing the trip had been moved. I assumed it may have potentially interfered with some of the other chaperones schedules. Naturally, they responded that they could use the extra hands, which I was 50/50 about. 50% of me was happy I would get to tag along with Haydan to her last field trip—-making myself 3/3 this year (tap myself on the back for that) but 50% of my heart sunk.
Thankfully this trip was educational and they didn’t have many of the ‘shows’ where they have the whales jump through hoops and all that jazz. There was a minor dolphin ‘show’ which I sat through and cried (joking) when everyone clapped, and I clapped at all the wrong times (joking again).
I was shockingly well behaved—well aside from the fact that after being unexpectedly splashed/bathed in salt water by a gang of dolphins (DON’T THEY KNOW I AM ON THIER SIDE!?!?!)—I bought a coffee with a couple other moms. It was 61 degrees and we were soaking wet and we’re dressed as if we were going on a hike in the Mohave Desert in August. WE WERE FREEZING. We had been specifically asked not to purchase ANYTHING on the trip due to the fact that if one person bought their group or, in my case, themselves, anything..it was at an unfair advantage to all the other kids.
When I got the message about that—-I did a mental visual of me sitting in a corner chowing down on 4 churros while trying to come up with a genius escape plan for Shamu and his friends. I made sure NOT to do that. I didn’t think coffee would have me axed for bad behavior—but I was asked to toss the coffee.
Whatever- I broke the rules, I understand. My fault entirely. Thankfully, Haydan had a great time and I had a good time making sure I didn’t lose the 5 children I was responsible for. I did get into a little ‘coffee mischief’…but I didn’t lose any of my kids! BONUS POINTS FOR ASHLEY!
I call this one a wash….no pun intended.
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