Hadley went on her first field trip yesterday, and I was able to tag along with her and take a LOT of pictures. We went to Butler's Orchard, which is near where we live, and it was a lot of fun. Hadley even got to ride a school bus!
The school bus was a little late in arriving, so the teachers were keeping the kids busy in the classroom while we waited. They were reading books with the kids and there was lots of singing. When the teacher asked what song everybody wanted to sing, Hadley immediately shouted, "THE ABC's!"
The girls on Hadley's left and right are her two best friends in the class. Hadley talks about these girls all the time, and her teacher confirmed to me in our conference last week that these three are buds. The little girl on the right had Hadley's heart when she sang the ABC's with her one day. The Alphabet Song is Hadley's favorite song. It's not just a song, it's a mantra. And Hadley likes the girl on the left so much that she wants me to dress up like her for Halloween.
Once the bus driver got to the school, the excitement really picked up. I think this was probably more the case for the parents then it was for the kids. This was the first time anyone's kid was going to be on a bus. I don't know if we parents were more nervous or excited, but we could've competed for a paparazzi job in this moment. Cameras were flashing from the way down the hall, outside the school, down the sidewalk, walking up to the bus, and (for some) going INSIDE the bus. When I saw one mother walk out of the bus with her camera, I said, "Oh man, I totally should've done that!" I did get a short video of Hadley walking into the bus:
Once the kids were in the bus, the parents were sort of just smiling and standing around, me included. It just seemed like one of those moments when you need to reflect on what just happened. I don't know why getting on a bus for the first time is as big a deal as learning to walk, or riding a bike, or even graduating from college but it is. So the parents stood there for a moment until someone shouted, "We need to follow it!" And then we scrambled like crazy people, keeping an eye on the bus but also saying things like, "I'm not even sure how to get there!" "Are the kids safe in there? Do they have seatbelts on?"
I was so wound up I had to turn my radio to the classical station so I could concentrate on what I was doing. The bus was out of my sight before I could get out of the parking lot, but I was in the enormous caravan that was trailing behind.
I have always been somewhat reverent of school buses. It's probably the teacher in me, but I always thought it was a special thing to see a school bus full of kids driving around town. And I have always thought it takes a very special person to be a bus driver. I couldn't do it because I have the patience of a hungry lion. And I can't stand screaming kids. Or smelly bologna sandwiches. However, at the moment I was taking this picture, I was thinking how thankful I am that someone took the time to make a rule up about stopping traffic when a bus is stopped with its lights flashing and stop sign out. Or that the tops of the buses are painted white with their numbers on it in black letters.
But on to the field trip.
First order of business, a hayride.
I took these pictures for the Feyen side of the family so they could see that we were on John Deere tractors. I don't know anything about farming, but I know from living in Michigan for a bit that John Deere tractors are a big deal. Kind of like Jimmy Choo shoes.
They had Halloween scenes every few feet that I thought were so cute.
Hadley wasn't so sure about the hayride as documented here:
I think she was just taking it all in, but the fact that she was holding my hand says a lot.
The hayride took us to a pumpkin patch where we got to pick out two pumpkins to take home.
Hadley was much more excited about pushing the cart that held the pumpkins.
After the pumpkin patch we had a chance to explore the rest of Butler's Orchard, so we played in the hay for awhile.
We looked at little pigs, roosters, bunny rabbits, goats, and sheep.
Right after these pictures were taken one of Hadley's classmates got stung by a bee. It wasn't the greatest way to end an otherwise fun field trip, but like most 2 and 3 year olds, this girl bounced back when she found out she got to go on the bus again. So all in all, it was a great first field trip.