On Friday, the first official day of kindergarten, Katie didn't ride the bus - I drove her. Being the first day and all, I wanted to make sure she was settled into her new classroom, make sure that she was comfortable and get a lay of the land.
Even though I'd been in this room a thousand times, it was the same room I attended kindergarten in and I'd already spent a year volunteering for this very same teacher that Wyatt had 5 years ago, I needed to see it again - on the first day.
Voyeuristic? Sure. I'm a peeping parent, unable to take my eyes off my children when they are very little for fear that they'll disappear into thin air or trip and skin their knee. God forbid a moment goes by between the actual scrape and the fetching of Neosporin and Band Aids. You should have seen me on the first day of preschool...total train wreck. It was presumed, expected, and understood that I'd be driving her the first day. It was no surprise to anyone. And thankfully, she was fine with that plan.
I left the classroom, still full of lingering parents, feeling confident. I didn't take too many pictures of my daughter, throwing her into a monster-sized tantrum. I didn't smother her. I didn't embarrass her in front of her classmates. I gave her a high five after I was sure she was ready and I walked out, feeling the joy that comes from being a seasoned parent and not worrying (too much) about how your child will survive the day at school without you.
And then I went home and took a nap.
Today, everything changed.
We'd been talking about riding the bus to school for what feels like years. Preschool held a field trip to the bus barn last year and the kids learned all the ropes. They were most excited about not having to wear seat belts and being able to sit next to friends. Katie was beaming the day of the field trip, finally able to "ride the bus like brothers," she told me, "I can't wait for kindergarten!"
It's one thing to talk about something happening, like future school bus riding, like it is way off in the future. It is quite another when that day actually arrives, eager and ready at your doorstep like it's been stalking you. Yes, that day is here.
And I'm not sure I'll make it till noon, when I get to go pick her up.