I don't know about schools every where, but around here - field day is a tradition. Starting in kindergarden and lasting through eighth grade, everyone gets a break from homework, tests and classes for a day to be outside, running and having fun. Or sweating and losing races, whichever way you want to look at it.
I never liked field day as a kid. As the asthmatic girl, I never won a single ribbon until fifth grade when I managed to get fourth place in something. Clearly it meant a lot to me, considering I don't even remember what it was for - I can tell you it was maroon though.
Having a brother in kindergarden is like starting the process all over again. On Friday, he had his first Field Day and let's just say, he's more like me than his brother.
Aiden loves to run and play but he's not the most... shall we say, coordinated, kid. Since he skipped preschool, he never learned skills like skipping, hopping, jumping and crawling through tunnels. Instead, he spent the past few years watching the history channel, learning to draw better than I can and memorizing battles from WWII. Great skills - none of which helped him at field day.
Let's start with the long jump. Better yet, the question - who makes kindergardeners do the long jump in the first place? It mostly ended up with kids just running past the line, forgetting to jump or like Aiden, jumping and landing head first in the sand. Even still, Aiden loved it when he jumped 26 inches.
Then there was the obstacle course. Not nearly as cool as my elementary years when it was space themed and we had to cross the "milky way" (a pile of little chocolate milk cartons) on a balance beam. Instead, it was pretty classic with scooter rides, balancing beams laid across the grass, tunnels and houses to climb through and the dread red bouncy balls.
Going back to my elementary school is an obstacle course of its own. Walking the other way to miss the teachers who I never liked as a kid - why now? Ducking my head to avoid the secretary who hates me - Mrs. Wiley. Why doesn't she like me you might ask? Well, my dad once addressed a note to her as "Dear Mrs. Wiley Coyote". I spent the afternoon in the principal's office until my mom could come pick me up and explain that I didn't write the note. Thanks, Dad.
And the bouncy balls. About those. I think they fall into that category of "toys Aiden was too advanced for". We never bought him one - he prefered army men, Wii games or craft supplies to make Indian diaramas. The poor kid would hop forward twice, backwards once and fall right off the back of the ball. Over and over again. Then he'd go sideways. It was priceless.
Aiden also thinks he's a rockstar because, well, he is. And that complex leads him to do everything over the top. From the tuck and roll at the long jump to soaring off the hay bales he was to "climb" over.
No matter how many times he fell (and laughed) - he was still happy at the end of the course and his team almost won.
But after two rounds of the course, we had fourteen hot, sticky, whiny kindergardens who just wanted to cool down. Momma Lake had the brilliant and timeless idea to dump water on Aiden. A great idea until there was a line begging her to do the same. Which, that was manageable. Until Aiden told his teacher. Oops.
I sympathize with his teacher though, trying to line up fourteen hyper fives & sixes outside on an elementary playground is no easy task. Let alone to keep them in two distinct colored lines and to correct anyone who said they were "team pink" instead of "team red."
Eventually, everyone did line up and was counted off - no one missing. And so they headed to their next activity.. the sack race. I hate sack races and knew that Aiden probably had that trait too. I was wrong. He loved the race... even if he didn't hop once but instead galloped inside a burlap potato bag.
After his turn, he tried to sneak back in line to go again.
All in all, it was a fun but hot and sticky day. I stood in the line of moms talking about their cameras, and said a silent prayer that I wasn't the one running around in the humid 93 degree weather. Something tells me that all those little ones slept well Friday night.