Thursday, April 2, 2009

Martha Stewart-esque Lunch, Finger-eating Grub Worms, and Unidentified Orange Objects

We -- my wife and I -- had the unique opportunity of joining our daughter's first grade class on a field trip this past week.

I'm not what you would call congenial. In fact, at first sight, most have two thoughts about me: he's mad or he's mad. I just inherited a gene from a long line of pensive, inquisitive people that I can't quite shake.

But, to know me is to think TOTALLY different -- at least they say --, especially after enjoying some cool beverages of choice.

Anyhow, certainly, with children, I'm not a big hit. In fact, last year at the school's field day, a day resembling summer olympics, a friend of my daughter caught me making a joke and laughing, to which she hurriedly turned to her mother and said, "Look mom, he does laugh!"

Yes, I felt (feel) bad and do what I can to be less "pensive" and more congenial.

Nevertheless, I enjoy hanging out with kids in this setting. I'm helping out the teachers, but I'm not totally responsible for them. It allows me to relax and observe.

The biggest enjoyment I get from kids is their innocence and simplicity with which they see the world. Yes, today's kids know way more than I did, but the innocence still dominates. And, things like field trips are just the greatest thing since apple pie for them! It's great.

So, the field trip was to the local botanical gardens, in addition to a show of some sort (live) in a local venue. We arrived in earnest, sack lunch and all, ready to ride the big yellow bus with 17, er 34, eager kids.

So, we walked around the gardens, taking in the Spring's offering in many colors. Though it was a bit windy and cool for this area, nothing of great consequence happened in our walk or during the show.

We did, however, miss lunch at the pre-scheduled hour, as we were not allowed to eat at the botanical gardens. So, by the time we made it back to school (around 2 p.m,-ish), everyone was famished, certainly the kids.

Well, we immediately broke into lunch. Most of the kids had the expected lunches: sandwiches, chips, packaged things that resemble food, etc. There was one exception, and she inspired me to write this piece long overdue.

I have since nicknamed her Martha Stewart. When she opened her sack, she had the following items: a package of tuna (yes the fish), some bread, mustard, mayo, and some sort of drink. She promptly and efficiently commenced to make herself one of the best looking tuna meals I've ever seen. Not only was she deliberate and quick with her tiny fingers, but she attracted the attention of those around her. Yeah, that packaged stuff that should be food (her neighbor had) couldn't hold a stick to lil' Martha's fine entree -- all at the tender age of 7.

It's not an event that will change the world, but it is a memory I will carry with me forever. Who knows what life will bring this lil' girl, who for now is my daughter's classmate. Rest assured, though, I'll remember lil' Martha and her fine meal as long as I can.

For her, that day ranks pretty high. It was a day of exciting traveling and fine dining. Oh to be a child again, a world were tuna, yellow buses and fire drills is hard to beat.

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