This is just a story of a short-term memory from today. I had to jot it down before it became a long-term, vague recollection.
Field trips used to be my favorite thing about elementary school. Today, it was Braylon’s. “The best day ever” in his words. I was blessed to be able to go along with him & his 1st grade friends to San Marcos’ Aquarena Springs. The day started out with what I call “spit rain”, but cleared up just 10 minutes into our visit, climbing into the mid-80’s. By lunch, as the 70 6-yr olds sat down to damp, steaming picnic tables, I snagged myself a spot in the shade of an oak. “Steaming tables” – I guess that was a perfect example of one of lots of lessons we learned…
We started out with phase 1 ~ Tour-guide, Daniel, walked us through an “underwater” cave: aquarium-walls filled with all kinds of endangered species, eels, blind shrimp, tetras…
and an almost prehistoric looking soft-shell turtle.
After phase 2 (watching a movie about eco-systems & water conservation on a big screen) we moved on to phase 3 ~ a couple of hands-on activities explaining the water cycle & the earth’s water distribution. Rivers, lakes, atmosphere, soil, ground-water & of course, the oceans all got a say.
But the real reason we had such a great time, (besides the one-on-one-ness)… was all about the phase 4 ~ takin’ a ride in a glass-bottom boat! The kiddos spent a lot of time looking down & learning about underwater pressure & submerging springs, native or exotic wildlife & the food chain. Sand at the lake’s depths would shift & bubble.
The Blooming Cabomba, like gracefully dancing freshwater seaweed, would let a large-mouth bass make his quick cameo. Birds played in the water.
And turtles were swimming and sunbathing all around us.
Braylon smiled & nodded to my comment about how it’d be great to live the life a lake-turtle. I knew he’d agree…he’s such a lil waterbug. He’s still under 50 lbs and only to my chest, so I claim the right to still say he’s little. Behind his back.
The day was filled with fun facts, warmth and adventure, and Braylon loved every minute of it. He kept searching the sea of classmates & volunteers, for me – & when he’d find me, he would give me the squeeziest hug. I was only among 5 moms from his class.
Bray totally & seemingly understood why no dads could make it. Later on, I picked up Angel & we three met up w/Daddy. We thought we’d try out Austin’s famous Tex-Mex restaurant, Chuy’s, to show and tell him all about it.
Ricky is so great about assuring Braylon of his love. I just can’t help smiling when I see them together. He & angel, too. But it’s a different, more protective, tender love he has for her.
After a little bargain shopping at the outlets, we drove our tired butts home. Angel, in all her two-yr-old-ness, was wearing us down fast. We were spent. Our money was spent. And this day was spent, but spent well. And there’s really no other word to discribe my thoughts about it all, but thankful.