I’m going to have to face a gold truth soon: My children? They are growing up. I’m not sure I’m well for it.
I try to make up for not volunteering as much as I’d like for my children’s elementary school activities by volunteering for the end of school Field Day event. They have two shifts: the morning and the afternoon. I requested “the messiest station you have” and opted for back-to-back shifts. The school sets up an obstacle course of different activity stations in a nearby park (tug-of-war, duck-duck goose, that sort of thing). Marauding gangs of children high on natural adrenaline in organized chaos for four consecutive hours. Pop tunes blaring from a concert-worthy speaker system. Imagine The Rydell High School Carnival with 6-12 year olds, minus the cigarettes and choreography.
Our station hosted the infamous “Sponge Bottle” activity. One child from two teams sits on a chair with an empty bottle poised on their head. Two teams form rows and the first in line runs over with a sopping wet sponge and tries to squeeze water into the bottle faster than the other team. The sponge squeezer then switches places with the bottle holder and if you’re lucky, everyone is sopping wet by the end. There is a water-filled trashcan to replenish the sponges which I had to guard from pranksters trying to dunk their heads in or splash their mates. Sometimes I just splashed their mates for them. After explaining the rules, I imagined I was Cha-Cha at Thunder Road. Yes, my figure is totally that slim. Gulp. I’M the best dancer at St. Bernadettes!
The kids were hilarious, and the teams had their own individual personalities. Some of the children were inhumanely polite when gently squeezing the sponge on their friend’s head. Others were vicious, practically knocking the bottle out of the way so they could sponge slap their buddies. Some competitive. Some confused. Almost all, smiling. Some teachers laughed when I got loose with the water bucket. Some, not so amused. Everyone, however, did get wet. My three amigos were in the same group so I got to watch all of them. Rowan has really come into her own. She’s advancing to Middle School next year. I’m glad the twins have three more years of this. I’m not ready to let them, I mean, elementary school, go just yet.