She was beyond excited. She was so happy she didn’t mind me taking one million photos of her and politely listened to me babble about how I just can’t believe this day has come and blah..blah…blah.. As the tears start to fall down my cheeks, she says, “It’s ok, Mom. Just believe in yourself and you won’t cry.” Yes, that’s right people, I’m being consoled by my 5 year old.
The first two days of school the district permits parents to ride the bus with their children to school. I know myself and how much of a basket case I can be, so I was hesitant to agree to ride with her. “Maybe Dad should ride with you, honey. You know me, I’ll probably be crying before the bus even pulls up and you don’t want to be the kid with the Mom who can’t stop crying.”
“Ok. Dad can ride with me.” She agrees. Ha!
So that was the plan. Thomas would ride with her to school. Well, the night before, she decided that she would like me to ride the bus with her instead of Dad.
So it’s almost 8:00 am and I’m standing in the bathroom wiping my face off, wondering why I bothered with mascara at all, when Vivianne yells, “Mom! It’s here. The bus is here!”
She is already out the door, I’m fumbling to find my extremely large sunglasses and race after her. We get on the bus, we sit down, first seat. The next 4 kids on the bus route we know. So far, so good, no tears from me. Vivianne asks to sit across from me in the empty seat, so that she could turn and talk with the kids behind her. A few other moms have gotten on to ride with their kids too, and I begin to chat with them across the way. Half way through the route, a little girl gets on the bus alone. She goes and finds a seat towards the back of the bus. At the next stop, Vivianne gets up and goes back to befriend the little girl. One of the other moms and I laugh together, she says to me, “She’s not afraid.”
She isn’t. I rode the rest of the way to school alone in my seat. I get a text message from Thomas. It says. “Only nerds sit at the front of the bus. You meet more people in the middle.”
Apparently, Vivianne has already figured this little secret out. Mom has failed in the “bus riding” category.
Every once in a while, I glance back to see how she is doing, sometimes she sees me and smiles big and waves at me. She seriously doesn’t need me at all for this. Ha!
We get to school and we walk hand in hand, me, her and her new little buddy. We stop and they let me take a picture in front of the Kindergarten Center Sign. I take her to meet her teacher and she gets in line, already striking up a conversation with the girls behind her. I crouch down to say goodbye and give her a hug and she does quickly, then goes back to talking. I slowly walk away, stopping to say hi to a mom here or there that I know. I glance back one last time and can’t even see her anymore. The kids in line in front of her are blocking my view. I guess it’s time for me to go.
Thomas and Lilah pick me up in front of the school and we go home. I just start cleaning to keep myself busy, looking at the clock every 5 minutes, wondering, waiting. Is she having fun? Does she like her teacher (teachers! She has two!) I wonder if she’ll be ok on the bus for the way home…a flashback of the morning’s ride passes through my head…yes, she will be ok, I think.
It’s 11:00 and I’m outside with Lilah. We are so excited, she’s not supposed to get dropped off until 11:28, but we wanted to be ready. Lilah lets me take a couple pictures of her, she’s as happy as a clam.
“The bus is coming!” I shout. We wait at the edge of the driveway and watch as Vivianne comes running around the front of the bus! Hurray! She did. She made it!
The first words out of her mouth, “Mom, we need to bring our OWN snack.”
What? Snack? Snack is not provided? How did I miss that? Failed, again! Arg!
“Oh, no, honey, I’m sorry. Tomorrow, I will pack you a snack for sure!” I tell her.
She has already forgetten about it and has already begun unzipping her backpack and rummaging through that day’s projects. She’s so excited to show and tell. She’s drawn a picture of herself and her handprint next to a poem on the backside. I read the poem, and I’m crying, again. She hugs me tight and tells me she looked at her necklace a bunch of times that day and showed it to some of her new friends.
She goes on to tell us so many stories about her day. In her words, it was a great day, except for snack time. LOL.
Tomorrow, sweetie, tomorrow I say to myself, you are going to have the biggest, bestest snack EVER. I will REDEEM myself. :-)