When I awoke this morning, my day was all planned out. Erin had a dentist appointment, then we had to go to the Library, and finally, we were going to spend a quiet afternoon at the park. This was the first Monday afternoon that Erin did not have dance, and Ethan did not have golf. Therefore, we could spend all afternoon relaxing and playing.
The visit to the dentist went well and a little quicker than expected. Yay! Next, we went to the Library. We had a great time picking out books and even checked out a few movies. As we left the Library, it was only 10:30, and the weather was beautiful. We decided that we would have a picnic at the park. So, we went home to drop off our books, use the restroom (something you don't want to have to do at any park!!!), and gather stuff for the park.
The day was going better than I had planned. The kids were getting along, the sun was shining, there was a little breeze blowing... It was going to be a great afternoon. Then, we arrived at the park...
As I pulled in, I immediately realized that one of the local public schools were on a field trip at the park. I showed the kids that it was very crowded, and asked if they wanted to try a different park. No, this is where they wanted to play today. So we unloaded and attempted to find a spot near the playground. It only took us a couple of moves, before we acquired a prime location for all we wanted to do. Erin could play and Ethan could visit with an older gentleman that was trying to fish among all the chaos.
As a teacher, I have been on many field trips. I know how exhausting it can be for the teacher to keep track of all the kids. There were 2 teachers that were doing a great job, and I commend them for that. However, there were about 5 other teachers that were sitting under a shade tree visiting with one another. Kids were everywhere. This is a large park, and kids were spread out too far for the two teachers that were trying to maintain the group. This alone was unnerving me. I tried not to focus on all the what ifs, and kept an eye on my two kids.
I quickly realized that reading the book I had brought along was not going to happen. My kids were doing OK. Ethan was about the same age as the other kids. This didn't mean that he found friends to play with, instead the two teachers that were patrolling the area kept getting on to him about being too close to the lake. (Which he was not that close, and I was watching.) This was frustrating to him. Erin loves to swing, but all the swings were full. She was trying to climb and slide, but had to weave around the kids just sitting on the equipment. I was very proud that she never fussed at any of the kids. She just waited patiently, or moved on to something else.
After 20 minutes of trying to play, both kids were sitting on the bench with me. We decided to put our stuff in the car, and walk around the lake. To my surprise, some of the kids had wandered to the other side of the lake, completely unsupervised. Being the teacher (and Mom) that I am, I promptly told them to return to the other side where their class was. They promptly ignored me. I told them that I would let their teachers know where they were when I got back to the other side. The kids told me that their teachers wouldn't care, as long as they were not disturbing them. This broke my heart. Sure enough, when I alerted the teachers to kids on the other side, they glanced up, thanked me, and went back to their conversation. This angered me! (I will leave it at that, and not rant like I would like to at this moment.)
I knew that I could not take much more of this "peaceful" afternoon at the park. We did manage to find one swing open, so I pushed Erin for a few minutes. After a total of 40 minutes at the park, I asked the kids if they were ready to go home. Remember, I had promised them an entire afternoon. Both kids were quick to answer yes. As we were loading up, I asked if they wanted to try a different park. Both said no, they had had enough.
As we were driving home, Erin asked me why there were no mamas with all those kids. I told them that there were teachers there, and they were responsible for the kids. Ethan then corrected me. He said, "No Mama, they were THERE, but they were not RESPONSIBLE."
That made me think, how often am I given something to be responsible for ... Do I take responsibility, or am I only there? What has God entrusted you with? I encourage you, don't just be there, be responsible.
... whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.