Yesterday I volunteered to be a chaperon on Jacob's field trip to the Oregon Zoo. I figured if I survived 75 kindergarten kids at the Butterfly House last year, this would be a walk in the park!
Of course, being Memorial Day weekend in Oregon, it was raining. Not a big deal, it wasn't terribly cold and of course the kids didn't mind. There were three 1st grade classes on the trip, and someone had the brilliant idea to split the kids up into smaller more manageable groups instead of trying to navigate the zoo with a herd of 75 six year olds. I will attribute this genius to Mrs. Beckley, who we LOVE! Mrs. Beckley also split the kids into groups of friends as much as possible, which made things much easier. We had 6 kids in our group - Jacob, Nico, Samson, Alex, Ramon and Adrian.
What a fabulous experience! I loved seeing Jacob interact with his friends in a way I don't usually get to see. It gave me visions of a house full of the kids and their friends as they grow up. I usually have such a hard time realizing how fast my kids are growing up but this time, it was just exciting to see Jacob in a whole new setting, running with his friends and not caring if I was around. He was so happy!
One of the boys in our group has a learning disability and for the most part likes to be off lost in his own world, singing a song or immersed in his own thoughts. It was very heart warming to see the boys treat him no differently than any of the rest of the kids. They were so great with him! I truly enjoyed getting to know some more of Jake's buddies, and reconnecting with the parents of others, planning summer play dates and sleep overs for the boys.
The boys in a polar bear den. Not sure who the random kid in the hat in front is - he jumped in when I yelled "Yoshikai Dolphins smile!"
The real wild animals are in front. Of course, Jake is a head taller than most of his friends.
They were so excited to see this elephant! Due to the rain, there weren't a whole lot of animals outside to be seen.
Lunch - one of the only times they stopped moving and were halfway quiet.
Back Row - Jake, Samson, Adrian
Front Row - Alex, Ramon, Nico