I hope my 6th grader didn’t see me peeking out the front window this morning. He’d probably be mortified. As he should be.
He didn’t want me to walk him to the school bus stop this morning, and I don’t blame him. I can only imagine what the 7th and 8th graders would have said to him if I had. “Did your Mommy pack your glue sticks and pencil case?” And that’s no way to start middle school. Besides, he’s perfectly capable of walking to the corner all by himself and has been for quite some time now.
Still, I couldn’t help but peek out the window, if nothing else but to make sure he actually left for school. Later, I found out that the high school bus never even showed up, leaving neighbors scrambling to drive their kids to school rather unexpectedly. So if my son asks why I was looking out the front window from the dining room, a room we pretty much use once a year on Thanksgiving, I’ll tell him it’s because I didn’t trust the bus to arrive, and not because I wanted to watch my firstborn leave for school. He doesn’t need to hear about how anxious I was to put him on the school bus back on his first day of kindergarten, or how that feels like it was just yesterday. And I don’t want to see him roll his eyes.
My 5th grader, on the other hand, wanted me to walk him to the bus, so I did. I went mostly to talk to the other parents and to catch up on school news and carpool arrangements, but I didn’t mind seeing him off knowing that I won’t be allowed to next year.
When I got back to my house, it was eerily quiet. No one was fighting over the Wii, or jamming out on the keyboard or kicking soccer balls in the backyard. The blankets stayed on the couch and the pantry doors stayed closed. Yet there were signs that children live here, such as:
One (too small) rainboot with no match and this:
An homage to The Deadliest Catch, perhaps?
For much of today, they’ll stay there, untouched. But when my kids get home from school this afternoon, I’ll ask how their days were while they raid the pantry. And then they’ll fight over the Wii, play the keyboard and/or kick soccer balls in the backyard. Tomorrow, though, when the school bus passes in front of my house, I won’t peek out the window. As it should be.