Thursday, January 28, 2010

Field Trip to the Aquarium

A couple of weeks ago Matthew came home with a permission slip for a field trip and I, being the perfect Grandma wannabe, asked Matthew about me going with them. He did not seem too excited so I blew it off thinking he might be one of those kids that are embarrassed when home life crosses over into the privacy of their "professional" lives. Well yesterday Matthew comes home all excited about the field trip that he and I are going on! Oh my gosh, I had not planned that in my schedule! What is a Grandma to do? ; ) I just told myself I could not do it but I guess I had some kind of a dream about it because I woke up thinking I have to go ... it is too important to Matthew. Can I make it work? So today I went to the Dallas World Aquarium with Matthew's second grade class. It is confirmed ... I am officially now a stay at home Grandma! And I can do this stuff because even though I have a schedule it is my schedule and I can adjust it as needed.

Ya know these events are not cheap with the cost of admission, parking and the gift shop but I have to tell you it was worth every penny and every minute of my time. Matthew was so proud that I was there and he was so attentive. He was constantly aware of where I was and so protective, constantly looking around to make sure I was keeping up with the class. And everytime he looked at me the sweetest smile came across his face. I could just feel how proud he was that I showed up.

Another thing I noticed is that just like at home where Matthew is very black and white regarding the pecking order making it hard for him to understand that even though I am Jennifer's mother and basically the matriarch in this house Jennifer is his mother and so he still reports to her. Matthew does not like fuzzy, for him it is what it is. Order is important to him and everything has to be in order. So away from home and on the field trip, my role changes, the order changes ... in his mind on the field trip Ms. Mannis is the one in charge and he continued to defer to her even though I was there. I was very proud of him, his maturity was amazing. So many kids his age would take on the attitude that they did not have to listen to the teacher anymore since Grandma was there but not Matthew.

The final observation I made was that we really do not see our kids / grandkids mature at the same rate we notice that others do. Maybe it is because they are so close and we see them everyday or maybe it is that we subconsciously do refuse to believe they are growing up right before our eyes. A little boy in Matthew's class referred to his Granny using her first and last name. My mind started racing, "Oh my gosh, Matthew is behind, he is not as smart as the other kids in his class, he does not know my name, he just thinks I am Grandma. How come we never thought to teach him our real names. Should I ask him? What if he does not know and I embarrass him in front of the kids? But I have to know!" So I lean over and quietly whisper, "Matthew what is my first name?" He says, "Beverly". I say "What is my last name?" He says, "Shorter". I breathe a sigh of relief thinking, he is not behind, he is keeping up, he is paying attention! And then I just sit back and watch him ... he is such a great kid! He really is so mature for his age and as I watch the other kids I wonder how did I ever question whether or not he was keeping up? Of course he is. It will be interesting to see where life takes him.

I learned today that it really is so important to get involved in your kids activities at school. It gives you a window into a side of your kids that you will never see at home.


  1. I think kids that age are embarrassed to be seen with their PARENTS, but it is cool to be seen with their GRAND parents.
    So, all these years I was right about your name.
    If that's your REAL name...

  2. You are right ... never thought about that but yea I think you are right!

    And I guess if Matthew says that is my name it is, he is pretty smart!