Small Hands in the Big World

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Countdown to Kindergarten

Only 20 days until the first day of Kindergarten. “How many more sleeps?” William keeps asking.  He is eager beyond words, excited beyond belief and just plain ready. All of the things children are often nervous about (riding the bus, making new friends, a new classroom and playground, and learning about new things) seem to have my self-assured boy completely enthused.

This morning we went to “Kinder Roundup,” a day when all of the incoming Kindergarteners in our school district come to ride the school bus and learn about bus safety, rules, and etiquette. Big-kid William looked disappointed when I told him that his sister and I were coming along. After thinking it over (more like brooding), he asked “Can I ride by myself, Momma?” I told him that he may have to share his seat with someone but Sara and I won’t sit by him if that’s what he wanted. And yes (gulp, whimper, Mommy choking back tears), that is what he wanted.

Because of our difficulties getting out of the door on time, we boarded the last bus with about 8 other stragglers, leaving William plenty of room to sit far far away from his kinfolk. His desired distance was about a half a bus length but I chair-hopped closer to get some photos without undermining his independence.  I’d like to blame the caffeine coursing through my system but nerves are probably the more honest explanation of my numerous questions for the bus driver ranging from asking her to please explain the emergency door since William was sitting by it and its enticing big red handle, finding out what they do if a parent isn’t there to walk a child home from the bus stop, inquiring about what the driver does about behavioral problems and/or bullying, and a few more not worth repeating… (Gee, I wonder why William didn’t want to sit by his Mommy).

Anyhow, about 17 questions and half way through the ride, our bus broke down! It wasn’t quite that dramatic, just an engine warning light but wow, what a way to enhance the experience for a bus load of curious kids. Another school bus came right along to pick us up and we squeezed in to the back of this very crowded bus. I was secretly happy that we all had to sit together because there were no other seats. William was not amused. Thankfully, his pout quickly dissolved once we started speculating about what kind of truck the school bus mechanic would drive out there and what he might have to do to fix the other bus.

When in doubt, talk trucks with a 5-year-old boy and it’s bound to make them smile. Now if only I could think of the ways to keep me smiling during this major transition... Ideas? Anyone?

At least I have a couple more years before Sara is off to school five days a week but I think I better brace myself, she really enjoyed this school bus ride too!

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