My biggest mom guilt as a working mom comes from missing my kid’s school activities. The school tries to do parents a solid by scheduling everything at 9 AM… But even when the event starts at 9, by the time it’s over, and I’ve walked to the train, and ridden to work, and power walked to my office, and made pleasantries with the doorman (who always wants to chat for at least 5 minutes no matter how fast he sees me running toward the elevator), and then finally burst through the office door – I’ve usually missed at least half a day of work. So as much as I’d like to be there for everything, I just can’t.
My kids are generally understanding, but sometimes it’s still hard not to be there. This year Mariyah has been more bummed than usual at my lack of school event attendance. I promised to make it up to her by chaperoning the class trip to Ellis Island. I haven’t chaperoned for her class since pre-k when we saw Suessical the Musical and Mariyah’s best buddy got bus sick and threw up allllll over me (this was pre-Violet when vomit still grossed me out). In spite of my previous experience, I’ve been pretty excited about the trip to Ellis Island.
The girls assigned to my group had one main goal for the day, which was to get to the Ellis Island gift shop. Did any of them have money? Nope, but they didn’t seem to think that should hold a person back.
Fun fact: Remember the previously mentioned pre-k puker? She was in my group again. I asked her if she got seasick in addition to bus sick and she said no. Hallelujah! Although to be honest at this point in my life being covered in vomit doesn’t even phase me.
We didn’t actually get out at the Statue of Liberty, but I can’t pass that close and not take a picture. Did you know Lady Liberty looks bluish/green because she’s aging like an old penny? That’s what James always tells me when he sees her. She’s made of copper, so was originally brown. The copper mixed with rain/river mist has caused her to change color overtime.
It was raining a bit (aka torrential downpours), but we arrived at Ellis Island in one piece.
The kids begged to go to the gift shop, instead we steered them toward the health check. When you arrived at Ellis Island in the old days you were immediately subjected to a health screening. Most people passed through quickly, but if you looked tired, or had any other obvious ailments you would be sent to another room for further scrutiny. Trochoma (a type of eye infection) was one of the things they checked for. Thankfully, Mariyah’s eyes were clear!
Wish granted. Though the girls were a little bummed they weren’t allowed to use them.
Most people passed through Ellis Island in a matter of hours, but some people had to wait for their Trochoma (or other ailment) to clear up. These triple bunks were in the dormitory for folks who had to stay overnight while waiting to get into the United States. Mariyah told the girls in our group I snored, so no one wanted to share a bunk with me.
This showed money from different countries which people were able to trade in for American currency. My girls spent a few minutes wondering if this money would work in the present day gift shop. They came to the conclusion it would not.
It was pretty amazing to think of the sheer number of people who passed through Ellis Island. One of the employees said it’s estimated that 40% of people in the United States have a family member who passed into our country through Ellis Island. 12 million people.
Much to the girls dismay, we never did hit up the gift shop. But I think we all had a great time anyway.