If you live in Virginia and have or have had a 4th grader you know that the entire year is devoted to Virginia History. The only thing better than studying about Indians, battles and wars is an opportunity to see some of the history in person. Jay “had to” attend the 4th grade field-trip to Jamestown and Yorktown (he didn’t really have to, he wanted to, but he used the phrase “Had To” which I found funny).That also meant that I “had to” attend too, because there was no way I was going to allow my baby to go by himself. But what started out as a “Had To” type of trip ended up being an unforgettable experience.
We needed to board the bus at 6am which meant Jay had to get up much earlier than normal. Change is always hard, but Jay was a trooper. He got up and got himself dressed with no problems at all. In fact the only snag was when I would only allow him to bring 3 books along instead of the 5 he wanted.
We boarded the bus and I sat Jay in front of me next to the other boy who was in my charge. Jay spent the ride alternating between reading and looking out the window. The highlight of the ride for me was when Jay after noticing we had just arrived in Williamsburg loudly declared for the entire bus to hear, “I never remember reading about their being 7-Elevens in Jamestown!” That kid cracks me up.
Sometimes I love that Jay follows the rules so strictly. Other times though… not so much. For example he was told that another boy in the class would be in his group. To Jay that meant that the poor kid was supposed to be glued to our side. I had to explain to Jay that as long as we could see where he was at all times it did not matter that he was walking ahead of us. Eventually he got over the whole secret service protection detail thing and just left the poor kid alone. The ironic thing is that Jay was so concerned about the other boy being where he was supposed to be, but he himself would wander away from the group. The group could be listening to how the Powhatan Indians used Brain Tanning (very interesting concept might I add… I won’t go into details but Google it if you want to see something very gross) and there would be Jay hugging a tree. Sometimes he would get tired and would wander off to look for something to sit on. He might have been several feet back and looked like he was not paying attention, but when the guide asked a question… Jay was always the first one to offer the answer. The other parents on the trip kept coming over to me and saying how proud I must be of his knowledge. I was proud. But not by his smarts… but by how well he handled things. Like the Musket being fired. He knew it would be loud but he still wanted to see it. So he simply cupped his ears and stayed put!