The end-of-year field trips are flowing thick and fast around here. Several times while I've been down at the Capitol in the past weeks, I've seen gaggles of kids going through the (in-defiance-of-court-order) metal detector screenings to get into The People's House. Rose will get her turn to visit with her class this coming week, though given our spring-break advocacy, she's already got some experience!
For Joy, the whole field trip thing has been a different story.
The field trips for her kindergarten class started way back this fall when we were still struggling to make it through the day without injury. Technically we would have been within our rights to demand that Joy's school personnel find SOME way, ANY way, to take her along on each and every field trip. However, we also prefer to avoid putting people in unwinnable situations. Sooo many field trips involve standing in line, waiting, lecture situations, sitting through performances. They're generally things that Joy wouldn't... well, enjoy... and I wouldn't attempt with her myself, even in the absence of the crowd-control aspect... so why would we make Joy and everyone else miserable by forcing them to go through it?
But finally with the end of the year nearing, her classroom teacher sent home a notification in the class newsletter that made my eyes shine. A field trip to a kiddie gymnastics facility!
I made known right away that I thought this field trip had "Joy" written all over it, and her staff agreed. There wasn't even much advance prep to do, at least that I knew of, other than the fact that she needs one-on-one supervision both in school and out. Joy has been generally cooperative on city bus rides, so I didn't think the transportation would be a problem.
Friday was the big day! And when I came to pick Joy up at the end of the day, when her classroom teacher came leading her classmates out of the building, he gave me a great big grin and high sign. "It went great!" he said! Sure enough, when her special-ed teacher brought Joy to the doors, she confirmed that it had been a grand success. Joy had sat independently on the bus on the way there, gotten her wiggles out enthusiastically at the gym, and snuggled happily on her aide's lap on the bus ride home.
Rose told me later that when she'd seen Joy & her aide in the hall that afternoon, the aide told Rose that she wished they could have something like that for Joy every day!
It's hard to believe that we're just a couple of weeks from the end of the school year. Joy will turn seven soon, and she'll be done with her kindergarten year. I'm just so pleased that she got to have a successful field trip to help round off her first year of elementary school.