So I've just returned from a trip to Florida as part of my eighth grader's entourage - at least that's what it felt like. I believe officially I was considered to be a chaperone. The eighth grade has a trip to Florida every year. It's earned based on conduct, and dang it, he's a well-behaved kid therefore there was no way to get out of it. We rode a charter bus, and we did Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, and Aquatica. It feels like I'm missing something in there - oh, yeah - sleep. Sleep is what I'm missing. In all fairness, I don't remember it being listed on the itinerary anyway.
It was a fun trip though I'm not really an amusement park kinda gal. Museums, architecture, historical stuff - that stuff turns me on. Roller coasters - not really. I already know how it feels to be scared senseless, I've been in hospitals before, and bulimia does not interest me especially with the prices these parks charge for food. So I did exactly one at the Harry Potter world stuff. It would probably rate a wimponus spell, but I survived which was important. I really enjoyed Sea World the best - shows and animals. Plus I had been to Sea World as a little girl. I have the most adorable bracelet with little dolphins on it and I found the old home movies not long ago. May I say that ponytails and Peter Pan collars quite suited me.
But here's the deal. I spent a fair amount of time alone. Thanks to the proliferation of cell phones, my son and his four friends were able to be in constant contact with me and they are all taller than me and the school approves of their going off without you as long as all numbers have been exchanged and you have plans for meeting up. So I would sit in Starbucks (there are only so many times I was interested in walking around stuff I didn't want to do) and read. They would text me. I would meet up with them, distribute money, pick up what they wanted me to carry, get my instructions and move on. See - entourage member - the one without a lot of power, but a ton of interest in being included.
But here's the point - I wouldn't trade it for anything. I got to see how our son and his friends interact. At times I could see the children they were - laughing and feeding seagulls and pigeons with such delight and abandonment, wearing silly hats and stuff. And at times I could see the men they are becoming - holding the door for people, showing good manners, disapproving of how some people were acting. They are good kids and I know just how fast time flies. Our son had his fourteenth birthday while on the trip. Which can't be possible since my profile picture shows me holding this adorable toddler. In the blink of an eye he'll be gone to college, but I'll always get to hold on to the memories. And for that I'll gladly be a member of the entourage.