And on the field trip, we had some lunch, E-I-E-I-O…

For weeks Daniel has been talking about his field trip, how he would ride a real school bus to a farm. And he knew Mama or Baba would go.

You are allowed to send your preschooler on a field trip without a parent attending, but I have never risked it. Maybe they don’t place a black mark in your parenting file if you miss one, but who wants to take the chance?

Besides, these moments are so brief. So off we went, boarding the school bus to head off to the farm.

We had a wonderful time.

The farmer told us all about the land, the produce, and how their crops are used.

Farmer Wayne at the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture

The children rolled off of the straw bales they were supposed to be sitting on, poked each other with pieces of straw, and asked to go to the bathroom–one child twice in five minutes.

The parents took a million pictures and took in all the information the farmer shared.

Tonight at dinner I said, “We learned something really interesting about cauliflower today.” The farmer had described how white cauliflower would turn yellow if the farmers didn’t tie the leaves over it as it grows.

“Yes!” Daniel said, and I was shocked to think he had heard and remembered that fact. “Cauliflower grows on a farm.”

See. He was paying attention.

We petted animals and climbed on an enormous tractor–truly a dream come true–and picked pumpkins to take home.

We also enjoyed a picnic lunch. And Daniel, in a beautiful moment of generosity, decided to share his M&Ms with his friends. He walked from person to person giving each one an M&M.

As he returned to his bench, he looked sadly at the four or five M&Ms left in his bag.

“Now I don’t have much left,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “you were so kind to share. I’ll give you some more when we get home.”

Then off we went, back to school. Then I headed off to work for the rest of the day. When I picked Daniel up at the end of the afternoon, he climbed in the car, and we started driving and talking about the field trip.

“What was the best part?” I said. I was sure he’d mention petting a pony, or climbing on the tractor, or meeting a real, live farmer.

We drove all the way to a farm, walked right up to stalks of corn, listened to a honking goose up close, climbed on farm equipment, and saw his teacher dress up as a beekeeper.

What would he name as his favorite moment?

“The part when you said I could have more M&Ms when I got home,” he said.

Wow. Well, we could have skipped the field trip and just had M&Ms. I’m comforting myself with the reminder that if I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t be part of his favorite field trip memory.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.