|My oldest crossing over from elementary to middle school|
The first time was at the earlier end of that day. My oldest had come bombing back into the house, slightly breathless, “Mom, I think I missed the bus!”
I was standing at the kitchen counter making his brothers’ lunches. One brother was in the bathtub; the other was sitting at the kitchen table, undressed, agonizing loudly over his homework. I turned and squinted at the clock in the dining room. It was 7:48 a.m.
“You’re still here?” I have been instructed not to “stalk” my son at the bus stop, which is right at the end of our very short driveway, thus my surprise. “You must have.”
“Well, you better start walking.”
“I don’t want to be late.”
“You won’t be. You have 12 minutes.” Technically middle school doesn’t start until 8:08 a.m. according to the handbook, but apparently those eight minutes between their 8:00 a.m. release from wherever it is they assemble after getting off the bus and homeroom are important.
He turned abruptly and walked back out. “Okay, bye,” he tossed over his shoulder without looking back. He must have realized that even if I were willing to rally both of his elementary-school aged brothers into the car, he would get there sooner if he walked.
I followed him out and stood on the steps as he crossed the street briskly.
“You could always flag down another bus – they’re all going to the same place…” but I knew he wouldn’t. I doubted he would consider that “cool” or even “normal.”
He raised his hand to wave (dismissing the suggestion, confirming the ‘goodbye,’ or both?), as he race-walked quickly down the block to Main Street.
“Bye, honey.” I stood in the driveway and watched as he crossed over safely and disappeared from my sight (still not looking back), consoling myself that of course I’d receive a phone call if he didn’t show up in homeroom. This was the first time he’d ever walked to school by himself.