Sent My Heart on a Bus Today

September 7, 2012

Today marks Gavin’s third day of school. (He started Tuesday, was off Wednesday, and went back yesterday.) I am pretty excited for the weekend – if only to give my stomach a break from being completely nervous. I’m usually pretty laid back, but knowing that Gavin’s anxious about school is rubbing off – I am sharing some of the load, I guess. Haha.

We planned that I’d drop him off and pick him up for the first week to ease him into the change. Yesterday, he had a pretty tough morning, he was very upset and I left him there holding the principal’s hand while I walked away. I was glad she was there to scoop him up – because I wouldn’t have been able to just walk away from him when I knew he was upset. She was very kind to him, so I knew he’d be OK. I was in contact with his teacher a few times during the morning and she confirmed that he calmed right down. (Ugh. I am already that mom that is bothering the teacher all day! Dear heavens! That’s like the opposite of what I want to be.)

Throughout the course of the week, Gavin’s been asking about taking the bus. Given the experience yesterday morning, we decided that putting him on the bus today would be a good thing to try. His friends from the street all take the bus – and he LOVES them, so we figured this might make him feel better. And it did – right up until the bus came into sight. He was so excited all morning – and wanted to head out to the bus stop 25 minutes before it was due to arrive. He kept peeking out the window to watch for the other kids to arrive at the bus stop, and when I told him we could go up, he did some fist pumps and shouted, “YES!!” before running out the door without his backpack or lunch. Haha.

He hung out with the guys for a few minutes when we got to the bus stop, and then reality must have hit because he wandered over to me and said “I need a hug.” I hugged him and he eked out “I’m scared, Mom.” I told him I know he is scared, but it will be OK and that he will like it once he understands how it all works. He stayed close and was trying his very best to hold back his tears. Once the bus came into view, he couldn’t hold it in anymore. Poor thing. A few of the moms encouraged their kids to sit with Gavin on the bus, and Gavin walked towards the bus with his friends. Still crying. One of the older boys briefly put his hand on Gavin’s shoulder. He walked up the steps and headed towards the back with his buddies. And my heart went with him. I know he was fine. It’s just hard to know he wasn’t comfortable or confident. But he did it anyway. And such is the life of a parent, right? My heart is leaping out of my chest and on one hand, I want to pull him off the bus and bring him back home. At the same time, I am incredibly proud that he ascended those steps and went forward – even though he was scared. Such a small thing, really…but still incredibly brave.

So far, I am finding Kindergarten to be fascinating. For me, it seems like such an abrupt switch in mindset and activities – like two weeks ago he was a little guy in pre-school who was a little afraid to wander too far from Kenny and I and he’d look to us before making a move – any move, and this week he wears a backpack that’s almost as tall as he is, turns on the TV and Wii by himself, plays independently out front with the kids, and hops on a bus to go to school. It’s interesting to see how Gavin vacillates between being a big guy and a young boy. I like both sides. It’s so much fun to watch him at play in ‘big guy’ mode. His personality is really coming out and he makes me laugh so much. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that he still needs Kenny and I sometimes – mostly for reassurance and hugs. Hey, I’ll take it.


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