Monday, April 25, 2011

A Fixed-Wing Parent in a Helicopter World? acitymom chaperones

Somehow, I don't recall how it happened exactly, maybe I blocked it, but I've been cornered into chaperoning my sons' eighth grade field trip to Washington DC. We leave tonight. By bus.

Gaaaa

I tried to see if I could, you know, just fly out there and meet them. No dice. Apparently, the school feels the chaperones should be on the bus as well.  Kill joys.  I'm trying to be positive about a fifteen hour overnight bus ride with forty fourteen year-olds. Really. I am. But I'm open to suggestions. And I don't think Chardonnay can be one of them.

I remember telling the boys it sounded like a fun trip and that I wished I could go. I thought I said it in an off-handed enough manner that...well, anyway, you see how that turned out. They needed more chaperones; the "whole trip was in peril!"

But I'm not the chaperone type. Helicopter parents are the chaperone type. I'm a fixed wing girl. (And I don't think the 1.5 hours of helicopter time I have in my logbook should count. That was a long time ago.)  As an added bonus, I'll have a roommate at the hotel. I don't know her, but she's another parent. I kind of feel that, when you get to be my age, you shouldn't have to be roommates with some stranger you've never met. Weird personal habits and other oddities like snoring or talking in your sleep are things no one should have to put up with, so naturally I feel sorry for her. I hope she's a sound sleeper.

However, when acitymom is given a task, no matter if she likes it or not, she's determined to do it well. So, I went to Merriam-Webster's for help. They define chaperone as follows:

CHAPERONE
1: a person (as a matron) who for propriety accompanies one or more young unmarried women in public or in mixed company
2: an older person who accompanies young people at a social gathering to ensure proper behavior; broadly : one delegated to ensure proper behavior
3: any of a class of proteins that facilitate the proper folding of proteins by binding to and stabilizing unfolded or partially fold
ed proteins --called also molecular chaperone

1. "A matron!" Excuse me. I almost called and told them I couldn't go because of a terrible case of the vapors.

2.  Okay, that's better. I can ensure proper behavior, even if this little social gathering is going to last for five whole days.

3. There will be absolutely no folding of proteins on my bus.

I will try to post as often as I can while away; they have us on a pretty tight schedule. Mostly, I just please want you all to send as much positive energy my way as you can. And if that doesn't help, some Chardonnay waiting upon my return just might stave off any languishing cases of the vapors.

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