We start the long arduous hike into the hills. We aren’t even 80 steps up when Jacob tries to push past me.
“You have to follow me, remember?” I say, gently guiding him behind me.
He whines but steps in line. I stop to interpret the layers in the rock we are climbing and Jacob darts past me. “You have to go behind me!” I repeat. More whining but he obeys.
We climb some more. He pushes ahead. I repeat the rules, he whines, and each time gets in line with more and more reluctance until he’s really not listening to me anymore. His teacher makes an effort to get him to go to the back of the line where both the teacher and the chaperone are (which, might I add, is not helping me one bit). When we get to the plateau, the kids run every which way and very little, if any, of what I’m trying to teach them about rocks is getting through. It’s a garboil if ever I saw one.
By the end of the hike I’ve decided that I don’t like 3rd graders.
As we arrive back at the gift shop, his teacher turns to me and says, "ADHD The Movie: Starring Jacob" as way of explanation and, I think, apology. It makes sense of Jacob's behaviour and I wish I'd known that at the beginning of the hike. Maybe I could have used Jacob's energy instead of fighting it the whole time.
It's all a learning experience, I guess.
Even if all we learned by the time the tours were done was that all 6 of us tour guides don’t want kids anymore.