Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Growing Up

Max said the other day, "I'm getting bigger, I'm growing up!" He was very excited about it and though I didn't answer (he was talking to Luke), I was thinking to myself how true that was.

Max is going on his first ever trip away from home tomorrow. He will be gone 3 long days. And although he's going with Dennis, my mother-heart is still having trouble with cutting one more of the strings from my heart.

I'm not worried about him; he's going to have a great time. The trip is for the 5th grade class as a way of celebrating being a middle schooler. He will be among friends, his para (during the day), and as I mentioned, Dennis will be going. Max wouldn't go otherwise, and the teachers informed us that a lot of kids that want to go ask their parents to come along. The parents are then made "chaperones" because if they're going to be there, you might as well use them, I guess.

I'm happy that Max wants to go; all these new experiences are good for him socially. In some ways, better than any therapy session. It also shows that there is something inside of Max that wants to be connected or involved in the world. And that's good.

I am just having trouble letting him grow up. Why is it the mothers go through this and not the Dads? I don't see any of the dads on Facebook lamenting over how fast their kids growing up. Why always the moms??

Dennis wins big Daddy-points for going along. It is his birthday tomorrow, folks. And for his birthday, he is going on a 3 day trip to chaperone a bunch of nine and ten year olds. Who wouldn't want that for their birthday?! Normally he goes fishing.

I do feel badly for him; he got kind of suckered into this and never really actually volunteered to be a chaperone. Last year when the trip was brought up, the teachers mentioned that either I or Dennis could "come along to help Max". They never mentioned other kids or chaperoning. They also said that if Max was having problems and needed to go home, that Dennis could bring him home whenever he wanted.

So the summer went by and we thought about it and Max decided he wanted to go, but only if Dennis came with too. So at the pre-conferences, we mentioned that Max would go and that Dennis would be going along to help him. Next thing we know, we're being handed forms to sign and a backround check (which we had to pay for) to become a chaperone.

I wanted to say something, but Dennis didn't want me to. He said he didn't mind being a chaperone. Ha. That was before he attended the chaperone's meeting and found out that he will be responsible for 14 other children (14 per cabin). He has to also be in charge of all their snacks and any behavioral issues. And did I mention he had to pay to be a chaperone??? Seventy-five dollars on top of the $110 we paid for Max to go.

And the best part is that if Max DOES have problems which requires him to leave, it will be ME that will have to pick him up and Dennis will have to stay. It is sort of funny to think about it, somehow this went from us to supporting Max to try something big and new for him to Dennis being responsible for a job he had to pay for. How did it even happen????

You can bet that I let the school know about this. I was nice about it, I didn't rant and rave, but I did let them know very clearly how unfair all this was. Not to mention that the parents have to pay for so much when they're already taking off of work in order to go on the trip.

Well, I sort of got off-subject, but it actually makes me feel a little better. It sounds terrible, I know, but you couldn't pay me enough to go on a trip like this. I love Max and want to spend time with him, but this is not the way I would want to do it. Maybe on one of our own family trips but not with a bunch of other kids you have to take care of.

Poor Dennis. We will have to make it up to him somehow.

"Happy birthday to you..."


  1. I could see why you are upset.

    Chaperones are providing a service and should not have to pay.

    I hope Max and Dennis come home with lots of good memories.

    Oh, Max is really hitting it out of the park these days with the talk about St. Max, the school dance, and now the trip. Max is brave!

  2. It's not that dads don't lament like moms do it's that they don't express themselves on Facebook like moms do, lol! It saddens Mark on those days when he realizes the kids are bigger or more independent just like me.

  3. Dennis is not like that at all, and I'm not joking. He sees it more as, "Yahoo, the kids are almost grown up!" Maybe he will feel more sentimental when they're teenagers.