I won't ever feel comfortable using the term "post-pandemic" since I've been burned before thinking this might be over. I believe now it's something we'll perpetually live through with various breakthroughs and occasional setbacks.
Will we need to wear our masks indoors again soon and at times in the future? Sounds like that might be a yes. But since we're continually adapting, evolving and returning to doing things we love, I'm okay with that. When I look at our lives, almost everything has gotten back to a near-normal state: work, school, shopping, going out, traveling . . .
One of the only things I hadn't gotten back to was my seasonal part-time work of leading school tours at the local historic mill. As time passed, I began to wonder if leading tours was something I wanted to get back to or not. Then in December, I led a private tour for a friend's visiting family and remembered how much I love interacting with kids that way. So when the email came asking who was in for giving tours this spring, I looked at my busy schedule and my never-ending to-do list and said, "Count me in!"
I'll admit, I had a few lingering doubts about whether or not this was a good idea or not . . . but if there are any divine forces out there trying to convince me to keep at it, they were hard at work yesterday.
1. The weather was PERFECT. The buildings on the museum grounds are old, not insulated and don't have heat. So even if the temperature is a mild mid-60s outside, inside is very cold and I hate cold. But yesterday it was in the 70s by 9 am, which I loved. The sun was bright, the skies were blue, it was just lovely.
2. As the buses pulled up and the kids began spilling out, it occurred to me: this isn't just my first school tour in three years, this is their first field trip in three years. This made the day feel that much more special and exciting.
3. All of my old friends were there! Other guides I haven't seen in years, of course, but it was also comforting to see the animals have kept their routines: a goose has a nest on the millrace wall again and the snapper turtle family is still hanging out by the turbine.
4. The kids were terrific. I was a little worried they wouldn't remember how to behave on a field trip but they were polite, engaged and fun. Bonus: the chaperones (who can frequently be worse than the kids, believe it or not) were also wonderful.
5. There were some challenges, like there always are, but all my old tricks came right back to me. Lead the kids through a building that hasn't been part of the tour before? Got it. Bus arrives twenty minutes late but the four groups of kids still need to be done by noon? No problem.
So I guess you could say (ready for a little docent humor?) it felt really good to be back in my wheelhouse.
|I can't even look you in the eye that was so corny.|