There are a few things from childhood that should be passed on from one generation to the next, like playing Duck, Duck, Goose, saying "Jinx! You owe me a Coke" when two friends say the same thing at the exact same time, and the age-old decision maker (which could actually be used in international peace talks) Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Then there are the things that should die, never to be spoken of again.
Like school lunch meatloaf, that wierd powdery substance the custodian uses to clean up vomit, and field day.
I always hated field day. We've already established in prior blog posts that I am neither athletic nor interested in sports. The one sport I watch on television is baseball and that is because it's the only one I understand.
I remember wanting to be sick on field day. I don't know why I never asked Mama to let me stay home. Maybe it's because I knew she wouldn't let me. She would never lie and what is a mother supposed to write on that excuse? "My daughter was absent because the three-legged race makes her nervous?"
Everything made me nervous. It runs in the family.
So, when I received the email from Daughter's school that they needed volunteers for field day (which is now known as the olympics. Let me tell ya, that doesn't help their case) I quickly sent that email to the delete file.
My good friend Kim even tried to convince me to make cotton candy that day. No way. Even pink spun sugar couldn't lure me to field day. Making cotton candy is one step away from working the sack race booth. Just thinking about it makes me itch a little.
I stayed home. While all the other devoted mothers manned cotton candy machines and bean bag tosses, I was all cozy in my sweats waiting for Barbara Walters to bring up a hot topic. That's when Nancy called me.
"Hey. I'm freezing. Will you bring me a hoodie?"
Who is this?
Oh, I kid. Just a little.
So as the good friend I am, I gathered several hoodies (a girl needs options) and headed to the school. Nancy didn't tell me where she was so I had to wander through the booths shouting out to other volunteer moms and even to Daughter until I found Nancy huddled in the wind, shivering.
I gave her the hoodie of her choice and meandered back through a sea of elementary kids, most of whom had the same expression on their faces that I used to have. The one that says, "I wish I was sick today" and "Oh, man. The three-legged race makes me nervous."
Once in the parking lot, I let out a sigh of relief that I'd survived, managing to avoid all field day volunteer opportunities.
It seems my feelings of field day have passed on to my own daughter. I could see it on her face before she got to the car line. As she described the torturous events of the day (which included them running out of cotton candy, gahhh!) I decided that the tradition of field day should not be passed on to the next generation.
It should be swept away by the custodian in that weird powdery substance, along with the lunchroom meatloaf.