Robbie's class is walking in the St. Patrick's Day parade today. It's a school tradition -- every year the entire 2nd grade wears matching green t-shirts and heads downtown to be part of the parade.
I had planned to walk with them. This is one of those field trips where lots of parents are encouraged to join in. A short 1 mile-ish walk. A chance to scan the spectators and see people I know. Sunshine and smiley, laughing 2nd graders. Sounds like a recipe for fun in my book.
Apparently, Robbie has been reading a different book.
In his mind, walking in the parade means people staring at him (and "staring is NOT nice, Mom"). The parade means scary clowns and loud noises.
I tried to reason with him that people were looking at him when he was in the talent show (that's a topic for another post) and he didn't mind. He didn't get the connection. I tried to tell him that he'd be with his class and his friends and there would be lots of laughs and such fun. No dice. There wasn't much I could argue about the noise -- they are scheduled to be lined up just behind a high school marching band.
So, after lots of worry on his part and failed persuasion on mine, we told him he doesn't have to walk in the parade. I sent him to school in his green t-shirt in case maybe he gets caught up in the excitement of his classmates, but I'm pretty sure he won't.
Now I'm second-guessing myself a little. Maybe we should have made him do it. Forced him to toughen up and face his fears. But, I know my kid. He would be nervous and teary all morning. I'm not afraid to fight the battles, but this one just didn't seem worth it.
So, when his class boards the bus for their great green adventure, I'll be there to pick up Robbie and take him to the Lego exhibit at the Children's Museum. Something that definitely reads "fun" in his book.