Field Trip

I used to (ok, I still sometimes) complain about having to rush out the door so early and schlepp to Everett's school every weekday morning, but I do feel so lucky to get that one-on-one time with him every day, and I know there will be a time where I'll miss these days. And we have so much fun walking down the street to the bus stop, holding hands, singing songs, and avoiding cracks, passing dogs and collecting leaves. And then waiting for the bus, counting down how many minutes and how many stops away it is. And on the bus he'll ask for pictures of something on my phone – whale sharks, the seasons, the number 100 – you know, just regular stuff you want to look at pictures of. The other morning, walking down the block, he mentioned the tooth fairy. I just assumed they must have been talking about the tooth fairy in school, maybe someone's older sibling lost a tooth. Then he told me that his teeth felt "silly" and "sharp," and I kinda' shrugged it off, thinking he was just being hyper-aware and sensitive of his teeth and meaning the feel "slippery." 
And then, that afternoon he came home with one of his bottom teeth missing! He already lost a baby tooth! He must have remembered the tooth fairy and losing baby teeth from goodness knows when (A Yo Gabba Gabba from 18 months ago?!) and had it in his mind. I immediately wish I had talked to him about it more instead of just brushing it off! And the poor little bunny was "too shy" to tell the teacher, so he didn't even say anything about it until he came home. And even though we didn't have anything to put under the pillow, the tooth fairy came anyway, and left him 20 Thai Baht. We found Thailand on the globe and talked about how far away it is and what it looks like. He carried the 20 Baht around with him for days calling it "my bill" and now every morning he asks for pictures of Thailand on the way to school and we bump past the Barclay's Center and across Flatbush and down Atlantic Avenue, flipping through stunning images of beaches and elephants and long-tailed boats.

We don't always get a snack on the way to school, but almost every day Everett asks for a bagel. About once or twice a week I coalesce, especially now that the weather is nice and we can stroll to the bus stop slowly, and we'll get either a blueberry or rainbow bagel with cream cheese. This morning was a special day so we got a chocolate milk as well. And the little boy drank it all in about 3 minutes flat.

I wasn't sure anything would be more exciting than riding in an actual school bus, but just look at that view! 

Funny how the boys and girls separated immediately. The girls grabbed bubbles and blankets and the boys hit the basketball court.

And then stole a jump rope to play some spontaneous, hilarious, running tug-of-war game.

I looked away for a one minute and when I turned back, Everett and Luke were standing like this – shoulder to shoulder, silent, and totally still. I like to think they were having a meditative moment of contemplative prayer, pondering their vast future ahead. Or maybe they were just looking for helicopters.

You go stand over there and I'll kick the ball.





This is the face I get when I ask Everett to sit for a picture. A lot of faux complaining and dramatically screaming "nooooo" and eventually crumbling into pouts and frowns and grimaces if not turning 180 degrees away from me. But we were having such a fun day, it was hard for him to keep it up and not revert to genuine smiles and laughter.

Ha! Got one!

Are you kidding me? What a cutie pie. I can't even stand it.

They were pretending the cones were light sabers, natch.

But there's nothing more fun than running after a ball. Kid can sure dribble down the field, too.  



And when he's not running around, he's drawing.


Lately, Everett will take a bunch of crayons and draw a very abstract arrangement of shapes and colors, just a jumble of concentric triangles and rectangles and blobs. Then he'll step back, look at it carefully, and ask me "where we are?" It took me a minute to get what he meant, but I realized he was drawing maps and wanted to know where we were on the map. So I'll point to an area that looks most like where New York would be on a map of North America. Then he'll ask "Where's Greece?" And then "Where's Texas?" "Where's the countryside?" And as of last week, of course, "Where's Thailand?" 

I remember laying on a blanket, the sunshine (finally after that long winter!) bright and strong,  boats passing, helicopters buzzing, watching this little kiddo run around, admiring that amazing view – from the bridges to the buildings, from the Freedom Tower to the Watchtower, and thinking "where we are?" on the map. An amazing place to be raising this little bunny and an amazing place for a bunny to grow up!

Thanks to a field trip, I got one of those days where you literally pinch yourself, forget all the difficulties of living in the city, all the stresses of parenting, work, life in general. For that moment, all was well and we were in the perfect spot on the map. Our one-on-one-time ritual lasted the whole day and it just breaks my heart that these kinds of days are such a rarity

After our picnic lunch, the school bus took us back to school, where we skipped to our favorite bodega for cookies and juice. Sweet little Everett even thought to pick something out for Alice. We rode the subway home, recanting our favorite moments from the morning and spilling cookie crumbs all over. It's gonna' be a really good summer.