Last week, my two-year-old son took a "secret" field trip. His "yochien" (preschool) packed up all of their child class students, took them on a bus, and would not tell us where.
When we learned about the plan, the other American parents and I looked at each other in excited disbelief. “This would never happen in America,” we whispered, conscious of the mountains of forms and waivers that would have been deemed necessary back home for such a trip. Yet we weren’t horrified or worried. We were delighted.
The reasoning behind the "secret" field trip was simple: this was the children’s first adventure without their parents. The "yochien" did not want us moms to show up, one of the other mothers laughingly translated for us. They joked that one or two of us might sneak to the park to watch this first solo outing, and it was important that the children take this small step toward independence alone.
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