I never realized how stressful a school bus was.
Outside of an early school bus trauma (when I was little, my parents got me all prepared for my first day of kindergarten, but apparently didn’t tell me that the school bus would bring me back home again, and I was pretty traumatized by the whole experience — I wonder where I thought I was going?), I always felt pretty ambivalent about the school bus. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t my most favorite place to be, either.
Yesterday, waiting for B’s bus to drop him off, I was absolutely stressed out. Until last week, our plan had been for me to pick B up every day at school — a plan I wasn’t 100% thrilled with, since it meant a second hour and a half round trip each day, both with Liam, and requiring Liam to either give up his daily nap or nap in the stroller. But, the school buses are expensive, and the stop nearest our house is one of the last on the route, which would have effectively extended B’s day by about an hour. So, I was going to pick him up each day … until we discovered last week that Dan’s work reimburses most of the cost AND that there is another stop, only 5 minutes further away from home, which would get B home half an hour earlier. When B weighed in that he’d like to take the bus, we figured we’d give it a try.
In the mornings, Dan will take him in (since it’s only a little out of his way), so yesterday afternoon was our first bus experience. Liam and I went over to the spot to wait. The “stop” is at a square in Vienna, but around the square, which is a city block on each side, I didn’t know where to be. Two sides were pretty much out, because of the traffic patterns, but that left two other adjacent sides for me to keep watch over. The minutes ticked by and I was constantly vigilant, watching up and down both streets. As the moment approached, my mind was full of questions and concerns — would they see me (they wouldn’t drop him off if I didn’t meet them)? Would I get to them in time before they pulled away (and then took him back to the school)? Had he, in fact, gotten on the right bus? Was I in the right place? How had his bus ride been? Was it safe, comfortable, scary??? And, of course, I was also anxiously awaiting the details of his whole first day — how was the teacher? How were the other kids? Had he made any new friends? How was lunch? Was he able to figure out the cafeteria? Was he happy???
And after a big hug, I got a full report:
- School was great!
- The bus was great!
- He had two recesses, and he saw his best buddy (who is in a different grade) both times!
- They had gym class …
- … and music class …
- … and lunch was SO GOOD! And, it’s not even Friday, but they had chocolate cake for dessert!
- He couldn’t find his gym clothes, but it was ok (no idea — they were “hidden” on his coat hook)
- And the teacher read some stories about monsters, but they were too scary, so B asked for a different story … so she read a story with no monsters instead!
It was a good day. All was well, and everyone got home safely. I’m very, very happy, and so is my little guy.