Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nature's Classroom

So Lily is away for three whole days and I miss her. It's odd, almost 6pm, and I don't have to be anywhere any time. She's gone to Nature's Classroom, a 5th or 6th grade tradition here in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. She'll be back Friday afternoon.

This is a big deal because ever since we moved she hasn't wanted to do sleepovers, and this is for two nights. In retrospect I think she was turning away from sleepovers even before we moved. But once we landed here she just did not want to be away from home, not one bit. She has had friends sleep over. But she hasn't wanted to sleep at their homes, or do one of the biweekly sleepovers (one night every two weeks) at summer camp.

She started being nervous about this last fall. I got nervous too, and then in the winter, as the time drew closer, I emailed her teachers and talked to some friends. Everyone said it was an incredible experience and she would really love it. So we've been proceeding as though she was going to go. For awhile I was worried we would get to school the morning of, which was this morning, and she'd say no, I'm not going. I was fully prepared to insist that she go.

But between her teachers, who have been great in talking about all the ins and outs of the trip, all the activities, and what happens if the boys play tricks, like mess up the girls' cabin (they have to clean it up, with the girls overseeing it -- "oh, you missed a spot!"). I talked to other parents, some of whom told me their kids were nervous too, which I relayed to Lily.

We packed on the weekend and she had lots of ideas about what to take and not take. Last night I got her McDonald's, which I never do and then we went home and finished packing. She practiced her flute and took a shower and washed her hair (those shower curtains with the map of the world are great for learning geography, fyi), and in the morning she topped off her bag with two stuffed animals. I made the requested pizza quesadilla for breakfast.

Then I drove her to school, and the nicest thing happened: A parent came up to me and said that their daughter knew Lily was nervous and she was going to look out for her. She wasn't planning on bringing a stuffed animal, but because Lily was, she brought one in solidarity. As I was leaving I saw Lily showing her stuffed animals around the class.

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