Yesterday on my son’s kindergarten field trip I was in charge of four kids. I had to carry their lunches in my back pack. With my back pack not being huge and spacious, as I fitted them all inside, I inadvertently left one boy’s lunch in the classroom.
I searched the bus, certain it must have fallen out when I retrieved my camera. I hunted all over the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union, thinking his lunch fell out of my pack.
The teacher had a second lunch. He was fine.
I felt like crap and was reminded of how our actions affect each other. Everything we do affects others. This lesson is something I am trying to teach my six year old son. For every action there is a complete and opposite reaction, right? Didn’t we learn that in school somewhere along the way?
Earlier that morning before the crack of dawn I gathered at the Mount Baker Boat House on Lake Washington with four mom friends, to try our first attempt at crew. We signed up to learn how to row. All novices. All in our forties. All eager to learn this new sport. It just took one mom to say she was interested and the next thing you know there are five of us standing in a boat house on a chilly June morning learning the difference between a sculler and a sweep, a rigger and a roller.
While teaching us some of the basics, on our first day, the teacher explained how this rowing thing is a team sport and how it is all about working together. If one person slouches in the skull, the others will feel that energy. If one rows perfectly and the others are all off, it doesn’t matter that the one did it perfectly.
We affect each other.
We rock each other’s boats. Good or bad? Yes and no. Rocking just happens.
The kindergartner still had a great time on the field trip. On the bus ride home he ate my carrots and cucumbers, the whole bag, with a smile. Then back at school his lunch was waiting for him.
Another kid may have reacted differently.
We lean to the left and others can lean with us or pull away. Neither is good or bad, it just is.
Rocking happens and since it is going to happen we might as well enjoy the ride, good or bad. Big waves or small. They’re just waves.
by J.G. McGlothern