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Seeing the World One Job at a Time

27 Feb

Let it be known, I’m not just a homeschooler.  I’m a stay-at-home-schooler.

I’m not a huge fan of leaving the house, and not just because doing so means making sure five children are dressed, shod, and buckled safely in the ‘mobile.  No, I just like being home, it’s cozy, warm, and welcoming, plus, diapers and milk are always close at hand.  Well, almost always.

So days like today, that involved field trips to Papa Murphy’s, an outing with friends to Frederick Meijer Gardens, a dentist appointment, and swimming lessons, wear me out.  I’m  a certifiable wimp.

I suppose this is a result of living a pretty stay-at-school childhood back at our cozy one-room.  Though, as a child I lived for field trip days.  They only came once a year.  Well, unless you count trips to other rural schools for hearing and vision screenings, school pictures, and spelling bees.  I did, for sure.  Shoot, other than planning the best method to cheat the eye exam, the entire night before Health Check Day was spent picking out the perfect outfit.

But the official Field Trip was strictly annual.  Once a spring we would all pile in our teacher’s car and set out on what we considered a grand adventure.  In retrospect they probably should have been called Town Trips since we were leaving our corn surrounded school and heading toward civilization for the majority of our outings.

There were a few big journeys beyond town, but most years our field trips took us no further than the seven miles in to Ainsworth.  Once there, we toured the library, the courthouse, the jail, the feedstore, the newspaper and the bank.

When I was serving jury duty a couple of weeks ago the prosecution asked every potential juror if they had ever visited the jail.  She really didn’t want anyone who had, and since I was anxious to be on a jury, I was having quite the internal struggle over how to answer the question.  In truth, I’d been to the Brown County Jail.  Several times.  I’m pretty sure one of the years there was even someone in the men’s part, because that time we only got to see the single female cell.

Other memories of the trips are just as vivid.  At the bank they once generously gave us ballpoint pens stuffed with shredded dollar bills, even though I had proudly announced to the kind banker that my parents kept their money at the Other Bank.  At the library I typically name-dropped that the other librarian always let me recard the books every Saturday while Stacy was at storytime.  And despite my track record for rude behavior, I don’t think I ever told the people at the newspaper how many typos we’d counted in the latest Star Journal as we stood in awe of the whirling miles of print streaming before us.  But if I had, this blog would be now open for their revenge.

So, despite my grown-up hermitish attitude, it pleased me to see the boys getting a good “this is how we do business” tour on their field trip this morning.  Plus, if they ever decide that they wish to make 60 lbs. of pizza dough they now have that skill set.

And although they didn’t fret over what to wear, well, there was that brief debate about whether or not “comfy pants” were acceptable, I think they really looked forward to getting out of the house and being about town, so we might just have to schedule some more field trips.

But just in case they ever want to serve on a jury, I’ll steer clear of taking them to jail.