Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Big Girl

I'm so proud of my Big Girl.

As we all know, one of the problems with having triplets in separate classes is spreading yourself around as a parent volunteer. Not the least of these occasions is the dreaded Field Trip.

At our school, each class is allowed to have four parents accompany them. We're not a school that has a shortage of willing parents, so there is a lottery system. You let them know you're interested by the deadline, and they put all the names in a hat and choose four. If you get picked for one, you're not in the lottery for the next, unless there's a shortage (which is rare!).

I discussed this with one teacher early in the year, and it was decided that I would put my name in for all three classes each time, and if I get picked for more than one, we would go from there. That didn't happen, though, and I went with Mrs. H's class the first time.

So this time (there are only two field trips this year) I put my name in for Mrs. L's and Mrs. M's. I was chosen by Mrs. M.

OK, that's the background. Yesterday Girlie brought home a note from Mrs. M:

"I just discovered that Hrs. H only has one volunteer signed up, while Mrs. L and I had to turn some away. Would you be willing to go with Mrs. H's class instead? It's totally up to you, but please let me know ASAP so that we know how to proceed."

Girlie knew the situation already, so I asked her what she thought I should do. She immediately said "Mrs. H needs you, so you should go with them."

"Are you sure? You know that means I won't be with you" I replied. I asked her this twice, and she said yes, like it was no problem. So I started to write the note back to Mrs. M.

A few minutes later she stood in front of me, lower lip quivering. As tears welled up in her eyes, she said bravely "Maybe you can go on a field trip with me next year".


Well, I knew something had to be done. I thought for a minute, and then presented a couple of possibilities I thought of. The best one, in my opinion was for me to go with Mrs. H's class, but have Girlie get to go with my group. This would require permission from the principal, and would also mean that Girlie would miss out on one of the cool aspects of being a chaperone's kid - choosing her bestest friends to be in her group. But she agreed that it was a good compromise (How long, I wonder, will Mommy win out over bestest friends? I dunno, but I'll take it. Photobucket).

I'm so proud of Girlie, first for being willing to help where help was needed. When she came to me with tears, she was not trying to take back her decision - just letting me know how she felt. So I'm very proud of her for that. I'm not sure *I* could be big enough to do that! Photobucket And finally I am really proud of her for being willing and able to compromise. She didn't have to, you know. The teacher left it totally up to me. I would have gone with her decision if she wanted me to go with her class. It's the teacher's problem to get chaperones, and there were other solutions (like dividing up Mrs. H's students among other classes). I would not have thought any less of her for saying she wanted to keep things as originally planned. But it's her nature to be helpful, so I am not surprised she chose as she did. Photobucket

The story ends well...we got permission from all parties to transfer Girlie for the day. Girlie is thrilled! M is thrilled, because I get to go with him after all. He gets both field trips this year, but has not rubbed that in at all, and S doesn't seem to mind. I had prepared them for the certainty of "unfairness" at the beginning of the year, and they have done a great job of being happy for each other instead of feeling sorry for themselves if they don't get the same thing. So I'm really proud of all of them. Photobucket