You're not a baby anymore.
But you're not a big boy yet, either.
Every morning as we prepare for your sister's school bus to pick her up, you talk about how TODAY is the day it will take you, too.
You have your "pack back," which contains your lunchbox. Those are the things, you presume, you need to gain admission to the giant yellow bus.
The first day good-old-#13 shut its doors and chugged on without you inside broke your heart. An hour of tears followed the snub.
No "Big Boy Adbentures," including a special trip to the toy store for a new racer, could right the slight.
You were prepared the next day, though I think you secretly thought the backpack and its sandwich fare would change the outcome. Nevertheless, when it didn't you didn't let it rattle you. You screamed "goodbye" to your sister, whom we had trouble seeking through the smoked glass windows of the bus, and waved your arms so hard I was afraid you might slip from mine.
She was in there. You were out here. It was O.K.
As we walked back to the house, you convinced yourself the new mantra we've been chanting - "When you're bigger" - would likely be tomorrow.
"I'n bigger now?"
"Not yet, buddy."
"O. ..... K. ...."
Every day seems to bring the alternating emotions of resolve and dispair. On days with heavy tears we stop at the Post Office so you can push the key into the lock, give it a turn and open the door to our mailbox. Close. Turn. Extract.
It's a simple diversion. Why not. And so we stood there and turned the brass key back and forth. No more mail. Ah ... No mail.
Before long we are back in the car and going along the route of our usual routine.
You question everything you see:
"That My school bus?
"Tomorrow I go on school bus?
"Horsies! WOOK HORSES, MOM!"
We stop as the red lights of another school bus flash in front of us.
"Tomorrow I go on THAT school bus? THAT my school bus?"
"No, honey. You're still a little boy. When you're a big boy then you'll go on a school bus."
Then you smile your crooked smile ... one eye squinted shut: "O ..... K. ..... Tomorrow I'n goning big boy adbenture .. on school bus."
It occurs to me, that as much as I would like to protect you from certain heartbreak, I just hope you can always feel this way: That tomorrow will always offer another chance.
Love and sideways grins,
Wednesday, September 16, 2009