Maria had a field day today at school. She got to go outside on the playground in the morning and play random games (Memory, tictactoe) and draw with chalk all over the blacktop. Then she was treated to a pizza lunch with chocolate milk and the Toy Story 3 movie in the afternoon. During the movie, the kids got snacks and juice. When she got home, she proudly declared “Mom, guess what? We did not have to do any work today!”
I remember field days during my days at Nativity school in Pleasant Ridge. I remember walking across the street to the park and playing softball, competing in three-legged races, and eating lunch in the grass with my friends. I remember being so excited about field day because all I did was play, especially softball. One year, I went to steal home and my teacher, Mr. Beiting, winged the softball towards the catcher and it hit me in the head. Of course we did not wear helmets back then so I had a nice-sized bruise on the side of my head for a while. But even with that hit, I continued to love to play.
Like her mama, Maria was most excited about hanging out with her girlfriends and not having to do any school work for the day. I think she has had a really good first year of school with only occasional whining and crying about having to go (and those times were usually when she was absolutely exhausted). In the beginning of the year, we experienced some drama with a couple of the other girls in her class (every girl wanted to be friends with one particular girl so when that particular girl chose someone other than Maria, Maria would get sad, angry, depressed and either completely close up or act out. When she acted out, she further alienated the particular girl and the girl who was playing with her, which in turn, got Maria more sad, depressed, angry. I finally convinced her that it was not worth her time and energy to worry about the particular girl – she just needed to go to school and make other friends and have fun. It took a while to sink in but of course, as soon as it did, the particular girl warmed up to her because, after all, my daughter is beyond super cool.
Ri is heading to Kids Club this year for two days a week. We picked two of the funnest days – Monday and Tuesday. Monday is pool day. They walk to the pool with their packed lunches and swim for a few hours. On Tuesday, they go on a field trip ranging from an audobon center to an inflatable fun house, to a state park. I think she will love those opportunities.
I am actually extremely jealous and want to go on most of these trips with her. I think they should have field days or field trips for parents. Could you imagine going into work in your sweats and t-shirt, meeting up with your colleagues, getting in line, heading out the door, and walking to the closest park. Once there, you take out your water bottle, get a drink, and head out to the green field for some dodgeball. Next, you play a game of softball, and then you wind down with some Duck Duck Goose. Lunch is PB&J with cheetos and a chocolate pudding. After lunch, you resume activities getting more dirty, more exhausted, and more slap happy. By the end of the day, you go home and think “What a great day – life is good. I have great colleagues, work is wonderful for letting us unwind, and I am ready to crank it out for my precious employer tomorrow.” Imagine how much more positive we would be after one simple day like that.
So, let’s start an on-line lobbying movement to enact federal law requiring one field day a quarter for employees – mandatory game-playing, mandatory participation, mandatory letting loose. I bet ya productivity would sky-rocket within six months. A win-win for all!