Every year, Jason's school rewards its Honor Roll students with a free field trip to an amusement park out of town. It's always on a Saturday and so to get teacher chaperones to come, his principal pays for teachers and their children's admissions. It has become an annual trip for Jason and Grace. This year's trip to Six Flags almost didn't happen...
The Thursday before the field trip, I discovered a homework packet while going through a pile of papers that Grace was supposed to submit the previous Friday. Even though it was 10:45pm, we woke Grace up to get an explanation. It turns out that not only did she forget to turn in her homework, she had lost recess on Monday as a consequence. These were details that she conveniently kept to herself all week, despite the fact that we talk about the happenings in our day when we sit down to dinner every night. We consider her "selective sharing" to be a form of dishonesty. There have been a few other times when Grace has been irresponsible, but she has always been honest about it. We were so upset and disappointed with her and we wanted to maximize this teachable moment. Jason told her, "This special trip on Saturday is for kids who have earned it with their hard work and the good choices they made all year. Based on your actions this past week, we don't feel like you deserve to go." She got emotional and we sent her to bed.
The next day, we talked to a lot of people who all said that we should still let her go to Six Flags (one even said that we'd be the meanest parents ever to let a few mistakes ruin this wonderful day for daddy-daughter bonding). Well, we talked to her on Friday night and the conversation basically went like this: "Grace, your actions this past week were dishonest and irresponsible and we don't feel that you earned or deserve to go on the field trip. So many times in life, we get things that we don't deserve. Daddy has been looking forward to this trip for a really long time and he really wants to spend time with you. So, we're going to let you go even though this trip wasn't earned, simply because it's a great opportunity for us to spend together."
At Six Flags, Grace and Jason enjoyed watching some of the animal shows. Have you ever seen a tiger in the water?! I thought this picture was so cool!
In addition to the shows, they enjoyed some of the roller coasters.
Interestingly, some students had to learn some life lessons on this trip. Two girls got caught stealing from the park's gift shop and had lengthy dealings with security and the police. The buses got delayed as a result and rolled in to Fresno several hours late. Yikes! And so it is with life- I wonder what lessons will be learned from this particular day?