Ever since my grandchildren entered preschool and began their school trips, I have tried to step in if another mother was needed. But now, I'm Class Savta. I've been Class Savta to the Science Center, to the Kotel (Western Wall), to the Deer Park and more.
Today, my four-year-old granddaughter's camp took a trip to the regional pool, but they were short one mother. So, when I was invited to step in, I grabbed the opportunity, and I became Camp Savta at the Pool.
Three other mothers, one preschool teacher and I were responsible for 14 four-year-olds.
None of them were swimmers, so we stayed in the kiddie pool. This, of course, didn't stop the kids from trying to swim. At least they told us before they dove under water. "Watch me, Chana's Savta, watch me." I held my breath while fake-smiling very widely today, and calling out "Yay" every three seconds.
I was ready for action. I wore my bathing suit and jumped right in with the little girls. I spent the rest of the time swinging and swiggling each giggling girl around in circles in the water, organizing "swimming" races, splashing contests and taking them to the girls' room. And I made sure every three minutes to do a head count. When more than 40 other little girls from camps all over the area joined them, it got a little trickier to make sure everyone was present and accounted for, but B"H we did it.
Suddenly I realized that I had miraculously developed as many eyes as a potato. Where have they been all these decades? Ahh, that must be how my dearest mother (ad 120) always knew who hit whom first.
We really had an incredibly fun time. Best of all, my granddaughter was thrilled, and my daughter-in-law said that other mothers thanked her for contributing to their daughters' great day.
I told my kids to invite me to whichever Class or Camp Trips need an extra mother. If I can get a day off work, I can't wait to be Class/Camp Savta again. I might even make myself a t-shirt.
To read about one of my previous school trips as Class Savta, take a peek: http://voices-magazine.blogspot.co.il/2009/11/preschool-scientists.html