Miss Sunshine’s second trimester report card has been posted on the refrigerator for a couple of weeks now. No surprises there: great marks in everything academic and somewhat sub-par marks in categories such as “reverence” and “composure” (or categories that mean that). Okay, so there might have been a “needs improvement” in there. (Or a few … sigh.)
Nevertheless, I allowed her to go on her school’s annual field trip, or pilgrimage as some see it, to the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This prayerful walk of the fourteen Stations of the Cross is full of moments of reverence and contemplation, even for a seven year old. One can hope.
(The Grotto is very near Mount St. Mary’s University where I earned a degree. I always like to remind Miss Sunshine of this fact. She always likes to roll her eyes back at me when I do this, like I even thought she cared.)
Miss Sunshine was so excited Friday morning, the day of the field trip. She promised me that she would be on her best behavior. She put her lunch and told me not to bother with her gym bag: there would be no P.E. that day!
The day passed uneventfully for me, and Miss Sunshine was positively glowing when I met her at the gate after school. On our walk down the sidewalk, back to the van, Miss Sunshine sighed happily said that she LOVED the field trip. She had no recollection of any religious experience. She had played with her best friend, and the two of them ran around and crawled in the bushes until they got into trouble for being disrespectful. They were actually allowed to talk during lunch and she said it was almost as good as last spring’s field day at school. Both of the knees were blown out of her regulation navy blue stockings and there were plant particles in her hair.
On the way home, as she continued to relate her Grotto adventures to me, I asked her if she liked the statues, especially the one of Mary and she said “What statue?”
Maybe she will notice it next year.