Last week was Lulu‘s first school field trip. Imagine two huge shiny tour buses filled with 100 three, four and five-year olds driving nearly two hours to an amusement park. Now imagine those same 100 preschoolers screaming the entire time in anticipation.
Whew. Okay. Now you get the picture.
We were off to Oltremare-which in Italian means “overseas” and apparently is the name of a modern ballet that debuted a while back in New York — This one, however, is a water theme-park near the town of Rimini on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
There were leaping dolphins (delfini) at the dolphin show. Luminescent jellyfish (meduse) floating in the aquarium. And there was a hilarious ride where you aimed your water cannon at spectators while they aimed theirs right back at you. We got soaked.
The whole time Lulu ran around with her friend David. And when I say “ran” I mean as in the two kids literally ran everywhere. David’s mom, Pavlina, and I vainly cautioned, “Stop! Walk! Slow down!” But they didn’t and Lulu was the first casualty.
One moment she was tearing off toward the “Happy Farm” and the next instant she stumbled onto the sidewalk – hard. She is screaming again, but from pain, not anticipation. She scraped her knee. I scooped her up and said, “Lulu, honey, I think if you would just walk, you would have more fun.”
“But Mama,” Lulu countered in between sobs, “I was havin’ fun runnin’.”
She recovered quickly and they ran off again. This time to the “beach” playground area. Lulu and David were spinning around on the fastest merry-go-round I have ever seen. Suddenly, for reasons we will never know, David let go. He went flying off the merry-go-round like an arrow landing with a loud smack on the ground. Now, he too, began to scream. Pavlina comforted him and we resumed our water adventures.
On the bus back home, other parents shared tales of their own children’s scrapes, tumbles and bruises. Seems almost every kid left Oltremare with a personal souvenir. We parents were all exhausted. But the kids?
Their painful setbacks hadn’t broken their strides or their spirits a bit. They were all screaming again. In anticipation of next time.
P.S. I thought, what a great example. Don’t let a little bump or bruise along your path stop you. Keep on running!