When Alden came home from the first day of school, he said, “I can’t wait for Friday!”

“Why is that?”

“Because I’m gonna ride the bus!”


There are THIRTEEN children at Alden’s bus stop, just around the corner. All ages 5 – 8 and all within a block or two of our house. This is pretty awesome. We (parents) already knew quite a few of the families, some vaguely, some more. This is why we live here. This is why we are sending Alden to public school this year. This is what we want.

Alden clutched my hand as we approached the bus stop. First graders raced toward each other, older children confidently stepped into line. Alden spotted the couple of children he knew, but didn’t say a word and gripped my hand harder, tugging, asking me to get in line with him.

When the big yellow bus rounded the corner, I said, “OK, buddy, gimme a kiss!” He did. “Have a great day!” He nodded, squared his shoulders and focused on the line.


The bus windows are kinda tinted, so I couldn’t tell where he sat, so I just waved at every little head I saw.

With that unmistakable whoosh the door was shut and the bus moved implacably away. I burst into tears and headed for the car— the plan was to meet him on the playground when the bus arrived.

Which we did, for the first few days. Then, we didn’t, and I again fell apart, and asked a friend who WAS heading to the playground to keep an eye out for him and maybe text me. She did; he was “all smiles.”


There is so much new about this whole experience, for him, and maybe especially for us. I am reluctant to write too much about it yet; it’s too undigested, and too superficial, really, as of yet.  It’s time to experience this new situation, rather than evaluate it, judge it, criticize it. For right now, we’re on the bus.



4 thoughts on “Bus

  1. I don’t know if wanting to burst into tears is limited to just first days… I seem to start any time it’s a last time or a first time or a time that’s particularly poignant or just for the sheer lovely way it can all be ordinary… I’d say it’s left over pregnancy hormones except it’s been going on for hree and a half years! Hugs to you as you travel through this particular first. I’ve been reading and thinking about you, just not commenting much… I can’t think of anything all that great to say. I DID want to say that I really loved your post about your airport experience… I kept thinking about that one for several days. 🙂

  2. The tears come to my eyes just as they did when Alden’s Aunt Gretchen got on the bus in San Jose so many years ago, didn’t look back, and I burst into tears. Grandpa Harold was there to document this milestone. Coffee with Nancy while Josh and Russell happily played helped immensely. But those tears linger just below the surface once you are a mom and they never entirely go away. . .It helps me to know that Alden has such loving parents and close friends holding him steady as he moves forward on his broadening path.

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