Every weekday morning at 8:35 am I have a date set with my handsome 7 year old at the school bus stop.
This is the third year of our morning ritual. At 8:30 am the alarm sounds for us to leave for the school bus and we drop whatever we are doing, pick up the backpack and any other necessary accoutrements for the day – winter coat, snow boots, raincoat, ziploc bags, homemade volcano, streamers, whatever – and head outside to wait with the other kids for the bus. After he’s safely on the bus, I take another 5 or 10 minutes to finish up whatever I was doing and then head out for work myself.
My son enjoys taking the school bus in the mornings. I could actually take him to school because I drive right past there on my way to work, but he loves the 15-minute trip and pretty much will have a terrible day if something like an early morning doctor’s appointment interferes with this trip. He loves it because his particular school is only for kindergarten to grade 2, so all the kids are around the same age. And for the last 3 years, it’s mostly been boys. He’s right in his element!
It’s wonderful to see the little kids get along so well together. My son may or may not play with any of them in the mornings. He has his own clique at school anyway. Besides, this is the last we see of each other until I get home at night so we make the most of our time together.
He’ll ask me all the serious questions that pop up at that moment, as they do in the mind of a 7 year old.
“Mom, how come I don’t know your grandma?” is one of his recurring questions.
“Because, she already passed away when you were just a baby,” I always reply.
“So are you sad?” he persists.
“Well, I was, but not so much anymore.”
“I’m sad that I don’t know her,” he’ll say.
I’ll say,” You know what? She would love you to pieces if she saw you right now, too.”
Other random conversations that have come up have been about the earth.
“Mommy, suppose I put the entire world in my backpack?” he has asked.
I said, “Well then you would be in your backpack too!”
He thinks about that for a while. “Well, then would my backpack get wet?” he asked.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because of the ocean,” he said.
I replied, “Yes, you, your clothes, and all your folders would be soaking wet.”
Eventually the bus comes and all the other important questions are put on hold for another day.
I bend down and kiss him on each cheek.
“See ya!” he says.
“Wouldn’t wanna be ya!” is my whispered reply.
“Now you have to say it too, Mom,” he whispers.
“See ya,” I whisper in his ear.
“Wouldn’t wanna be ya,” he says to me.
After that, he yells a ramble of “Enjoy-your-lunch-and-snacks-and-work-and-everything!” while heading for the bus steps.
Little chuckles may follow from the other parents who overhear him. They hear us everyday.
“You too!” I yell back.
Once he’s seated on the bus, we’re blowing kisses at each other and giving the thumbs up sign.
And off he goes.
It’s a nice way to start my day, everyday, before the stresses and deadlines of my job kick in.
Tomorrow morning we’ll do it all over again.