After a somewhat sleepless night (late summer cold, possibly segueing into the fall's first croup, so we were up three or four times during the night) the big day had finally arrived. The first day of school and more importantly, the first bus ride.
It was the earliest I've been out of the house for aaaages, and we have to walk to our bus stop and everything (really, three minutes down the street to the nearest intersection, but still). We were on our way, with the Little Dude alternating between holding my hand and running just a little bit ahead of me.
Oh, and don't forget the new backpack. Ironman! I can't say that it was Mommy's first choice (blockbuster movie merchandising tie-ins not being high on my list of favourite things, and plastic laminated fabric impregnated glitter not exactly being my preferred material) but, as they would say in parenting speak, I did want to 'validate his choices and honour his play patterns' and also, he really, REALLY wanted it. And underneath his hoodie he is also wearing his Ironman t-shirt. I'm just glad that the store we went to last week did not have Ironman shoes or I'm sure he'd be wearing those too.
We arrived at out corner with time to spare, and waited and watched the black birds flocking in the trees against the bright blue late summer sky. "Is the bus almost here?" he kept asking. His face lit up with excitement when he saw the bus turn onto the street. It made me so happy that he was excited about the bus ride, because frankly, its one of the parts of the school experience that I worry about most. I mean, I know that things are different now, but when I went to school, (back in the stone ages), the bus was like the wild west. It was the no man's land between the safety of home and the relative safety of school. Crazy shit went down on the bus sometimes. So as a parent, I kind of fear the bus. Sigh. Sorry to get all heavy on you, but it does give you an idea of my frame of mind as I'm standing there with my Little Dude waiting for the bus.
And there it was, pulling up in front of us. Without a moment's heasitation he climbed aboard. Not wanting to be the dreaded hover-mom, I made sure to hang back, despite the fact that I would have loved to climb up there with him and make sure that he found a seat and got his back pack stowed away and everything. He'd been warned in advance that there were no booster seats or seat belts on this vehicle, about which he was absolutly delighted. So he happily clambered up onto the seat just behind the bus driver and was ready to go.
And then the doors closed. And he was off.
I can't tell you what that feels like, to see your child literally drive away from you. Out of your day, out from under your wing, out of your sphere of influence.
Now don't think I was standing on the corner there in a puddle of tears. I know this is the way life goes. I know he needs to grow up and leave the nest, and I certainly give him a good nudge in that direction myself from time to time. I like him to be independant. This is a good milestone, and wonderful step towards bigger and better things. This is growth. But still, but still.... There he goes, away from me into a world of strangers.
And I was fine really, walking home, enjoying the quiet and coolness of the morning. Fine walking up the driveway. Fine walking through the door. Until I saw Hubs. Who was sitting at the table having breakfast, and gave me the "aw, are you ok?" concerned smile with his puppy dog eyes, and that was it. Seriously though, it was his fault I cried. And I wouldn't say cried so much as misted up and needed a hug. Sheesh. Stupid sympathetic husband!
And then we went about our day. Got my lazy baby out of bed. (that kid would sleep till nine every morning if I let him! A child after my own heart.) Had second breakfast. Did a ton of baking. Cleaned the kitchen. Washed the bedsheets. Read some stories. You know, the usual. And before we knew it, 4:00 had rolled around and the Baby and I were running out the door to make it to the bus stop on time.