Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cincinnati Reds Field Trip Extravaganza



I hope writing about this field trip is the closest to a PTSD episode I ever have. It was just a typical Spring day, breezy, sunny, a bit of a chill in the air; 2nd graders running about-baseball was in the air. It was a great day for a field trip to the Cincinnati Red's stadium. There would be tours, speakers, play time. This field trip was going to be great! The previous statement may have oozed sarcasm-in actuality it was a great day. Johnny, of course, would not be subjected to sitting and listening to history lessons and the like so Kathy (a fantastic aide in his classroom), Johnny, and myself strolled the grounds (mostly he was being pushed in stroller-that kid totally has my number), played in the museum area that was appropriate for kids, and ate our packed lunch in the actual place designated for lunch! Unfortunately, there were things I didn't consider (yes even after all these years, there were things I didn't consider). First, the field trip was all day, previous ones had only been a couple of hours. So I didn't think about changing a nine year-old in the public restroom and also that same nine year-old's affinity for bolting in a nanosecond. So the bathroom thing was no big deal, easy breezy, but if there was one instruction, one thing we heard throughout the entire day it was- “when we go around the baseball diamond, under no circumstances can anyone step foot on the field.” All the kids and adults nodded in agreement, over and over we were told and we understood (most of us, that is!). The instructions were clear- we would walk around the baseball diamond and not step on it. If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times that day. Turns out my Johnny-not much of a rule follower.

The tour of the field and dugout were highly anticipated by the kids and began uneventfully. We were walking along with the class, close to the rope which was the “barrier” between us and the field, and the environment was controlled. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha HA! Remember that nanosecond? IPAD dropped, attention diverted, Johnny sprinted to the middle of the Red's field toward a moving John Deere riding mower. Well, let's just say, the Red's staff did not find this as amusing as the fellow parent chaperones. The man on the mower screamed over and over at us, at him, to stop. As if? Oh my gosh, by the time I caught up with him he was rounding first headed for a double (not really, he has no idea where the bases are I just wanted to give you a visual of how far he got before I could catch up with him). My heart was absolutely pounding out of my chest. What's interesting is that he wasn't being bad, he could care less about a silly baseball field. He loves riding mowers! I should have anticipated it, should have seen it coming. I guess maybe I wanted to blend in that day, just a mom and her kid on a field trip (so ridiculous, I know). But Johnny always has other plans...........

As one dad put it, “Not many kids will ever get an opportunity to step on a professional baseball field,” and that is true and a good way of looking at it. He just saw and opportunity and seized it! Looking back, I still shake my head and smile cringe thinking about that day.

Yes, he perfectly capable of walking. 
But if you could ride, wouldn't you?

Playing in the museum before the great escape!