Today was my youngest’s first field trip…ever. I have not been adventurous enough to take them anywhere- as I barely make it through Wegman’s with both of them. But nursery school was going to the pumpkin patch so I decided that I would chaperone and see how this was supposed to be. I went on one other field trip with my oldest at the end of last year and that was a bit of a nightmare. Two hyper, impulsive kids in Strong museum ought to be enough said!
Anyway- so I loaded up 4 kiddos in the van and away we went. They all rode on the hayride out to the pumpkin patch nicely, picked their pumpkin, rode back and played on the playground the rest of the time.
I looked around and was amazed. Those preschoolers were quite a bit of fun! So curious and bright-eyed. Playing safely on the equipment. Sure, we had the occasional squabble over a toy or something, but otherwise it was a fun morning. I actually found it surprisingly enjoyable.
Then it hit me. I didn’t get to enjoy the preschool years of my oldest. What I experienced today made it even clearer that I truly am and have been dealing with a special needs child and that what I go through in a daily basis is not “normal”. All along I have been trying to believe that things aren’t that out of whack or that different and then feeling guilty that I did not want to chaperone/volunteer or do extra things with my oldest. I have even avoided doing things with my youngest because of how things have been and feeling bad that I didn’t want to.
The truth is, doing things has always been the cause of a fight or struggle for my oldest. Nothing gets used properly or safely and then tantrums happen when things don’t go “right”. I have just been trying to keep him and the things around him safe and in one piece. So, on top of everything else, trying to maneuver extra things is just more than I have in me.
Of course, that isn’t fair to either child so I have some work to do to adjust how I handle each of them. I’m sure both of them need those special experiences and I can’t keep holding my little one back because of the older one’s delays.
But, it was encouraging to feel enjoyment at the wonder of preschoolers in a way I had not experienced before. And see my little man happy and helpful. Away from his brother, he is quite something! My heart swelled with pride as he jumped to help the other kids unbuckle and shut the van door by himself!