A few days before school started I realized that Joseph was probably a little frightened about attending kindergarten. (It didn't help that I accidentally mixed up the timing of the "Meet the Teacher" Day and arrived as everyone was leaving, so we never entered the building and he had never seen his teacher.) I asked him if he would like me to drive him the first day, wisely, I felt, emphasizing it would be a one time deal so he wouldn't come to expect it all the time. He told me in no uncertain terms that he was riding the bus and never wanted me to drive him. EVER.
Still, I knew that he must have some trepidation ... leaving home for the first time ... riding to school without any idea what to expect ... surrounded by complete strangers. So the next day I asked if he wanted me to follow behind the bus, to make sure he got to the right class. The thought of him exiting the bus so small and alone made my heart ache, while the "my mother is such a dork" look he shot me made my head ache. (Seriously, he should have to be at least 13 before he perfects that look. That's the 5th child for you.)
So the first day of school unfolded. I dispatched the first shift to ride the bus to middle school
and then, later, the second group to the elementary school.
A very long 4 hours later we headed outside to wait for the afternoon kindergarten bus. Actually I headed outside, Joseph and Matthew had been out there with Peter for a couple hours already. Being the first day, the bus was running late. So we waited, and waited, and waited. About 5 minutes into the wait Joseph turns to look at Peter and I, informing us that we can go inside, he's got this covered. Seriously? I'm sure he is just trying to cover for tummy butterflies, but he did sound pretty nonchalant. Not to mention, he rolled his eyes at us when we told him we preferred to wait.
Finally the bus turned the corner. Joseph stood up and calmly brushed the dust off himself. He waited for the doors to open as if it were an old routine, then he climbed inside and found a seat. Not a nervous twitch, a jittery tremble, or even subconscious tick. Peter and I waved as the bus pulled away from the curb, but Joseph didn't see. He didn't look back. Not even once.
*I apolgize for the quality of the photos. While my real camera is in the shop I am stuck with my first digital camera. All 4 megapixels of it. I did remember to eliminate the bus number from the side of the bus, though.*