Monday, May 17, 2010

The Heart is Where We Feel Pain

I’m fighting every protective, parental instinct in my body this Monday morning. I’m fighting the urge to grab my daughter and hold her close and play with her all day long while hoping that she does not remember that today is the day for her preschool class field trip to the Topeka Zoo. Topeka. As in Kansas. We happen to live in a zoo anomaly here in Apathy, Kansas. We have two zoos that we can visit as long as we are ready to drive either an hour to the east to the Kansas City Zoo or an hour to the west to the Topeka Zoo. The Topeka Zoo is a little smaller and easier to navigate, so that is the zoo of choice for Apathy Elementary School. Well, that and the fact that they don’t have to cross state lines or drive through downtown Kansas City.

We chose to keep Captain Chaos back from this field trip last year. We did it to protect her from herself. We kept her home for the sanity of her preschool teacher and the paras who assist the class. There’s the animals to think about, too. Lions run for cover when the Captain approaches. The decision wasn’t met with enthusiasm from the staff last year, but we were vindicated when one of the paras approached me after school the next day and thanked me for keeping Miss Chaos at home. It was a bit stressful that day, and throwing Chaos into the mix would have made it more challenging.

A year has passed. Everyone is in agreement that holding Captain Chaos back from entering kindergarten last fall was the correct decision. A second year with this same preschool team has done wonders for the Captain. This second year in preschool gave her a second opportunity to join her fellow short-busers on the annual zoo field trip. And there really is no reason to keep her home this year. As I type, they are loading onto buses for the start of their journey. For the Captain, the bus might be more exciting than the animals.

I lost sleep over this one. I awoke at four a.m. and haven’t been back to sleep since then. This is my daughter. If it were one of my boys going on this trip I would not be this concerned. I guess I’m old school where my daughter is concerned. This is my one and only daughter. This is my little girl and my youngest child. The last six years have been quite the adventure with this cardiac kid, and learning to let go, even if for just one day, is proving to be quite the challenge. My head tells me that everything will be alright. My heart tells me to protect her at all costs. I listened to my head, but the heart is where we feel pain.

9 comments:

Brownie said...

My heart feels your pain... I'd have a hard time with that, too.

Michelle said...

I agree, it is very difficult to let go. I'm sure that she'll have a fabulous time-and I'll be covering her with prayer all day, and you too!

Teacher Mommy said...

I hear lions feel pain too. Personally, I'm concerned for the monkeys. She might decide to join them.

(Hey, I had to give some smartassery back in turn for your comment on mine.)

(And she'll be home before you know it. Then you can have her snuggle the pain away. Kids are awesome like that.)

S.K. said...

Well, if it makes you feel better, I am saying a prayer for her safety. And everyone else's.

Mama Bear said...

Ditto on the prayer thing. As the mom of a special needs kid, I feel it’s hard to give them these little freedoms, it really stretches the heart. May the Lord watch over Miss Chaos in a powerful way until you can hold her & know she’s fine and she had a blast.

Twisted said...

sending a prayer up for her and you and the boss right now. I got a bit of that dreaded feeling watching the boys run off to ride the insane rollercoasters, and they are a lot older than Chaos.

TherExtras said...

I gotta tell ya I don't think this kind of pain gets any less. Hubby and I spent an anxious 20 minutes yesterday when Teen drove back to her workplace to retrieve important homework. Mostly I was worried about her being there by herself. Great relief when the garage door opened.

Similarly, we've been stressing as CollegeSon went to sea (for the summer) yesterday. He didn't call before leaving port. Misery! Then, late last night he called "You know I always call you on Sundays, Mom."

Sleep finally came. Barbara

GingerB said...

I let my three year old go on field trips with her day care last year, even though they go on a full size school bus WITHOUT SEAT BELTS. I was so close to keeping her home, but I was expected at work. I know I have to let them spread their wings, but, OW. Poor you. Poor monkeys.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Just catching up on my blog reading. I hope the Captain had a wonderful time at the zoo with lots of stories for you.