Growing Up

Waiting for the School Bus

Middle school is a crazy time.

I’m thinking I’ll probably have a whole collection of thoughts to gather together on that, later.

But I’m taking a minute, right now, to remember today.

See, I walk my middle-schooler to the bus stop. Every day. Our elementary school is only for our neighborhood, and as such, we don’t have bus service until middle school, so this is new this year, but it’s nice.

I trust her to walk herself. It’s a half-block, around the corner, and then another half-block, with maybe a dozen other kids, all middle-schoolers, waiting for the same bus. Quiet, residential street. I don’t walk her because I don’t think she’ll be okay – I walk her because I need to know everything else in her life is okay. This is a dedicated moment, amidst all the hustle and bustle of getting kids and self ready for school and work, dropping off sister at her own school, errands, chores, and the ephemera of real life – we walk, every morning, just the two of us, to the bus stop. And her daddy and I take turns picking her up. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we talk about favorite books or new television shows or what’s going on in PE or whether she likes math or if that boy was being obnoxious again or what we heard about on the news. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, really – we’re together, in a dedicated moment, every day, by appointment.

But today, my kid stopped me before the usual drop-off spot. Just where we turn the corner. It’s not that much shorter, but….

But my kid is growing up, I guess.

And I guess that is one of the most important mommy rules, isn’t it?

Our job is to grow children – into adults.

Oh, I know we’re a long way away from that. But I think that maybe this is how it begins, isn’t it – a half-block from the bus stop.

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