Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Big Yellow Bus Makes It OFFICIAL

I don't know what it is about that iconic bright yellow school bus that makes going to school so official.

Dylan has been in school since he was 2 1/2. I didn't shed tears when he started preschool. I dropped him off in a seemingly daycare-esque atmosphere and went to work. Boom, done.

He had been in a home daycare before that so to me, being without him all day wasn't a new-to-me experience.

Although when her first went to daycare for me it was bitter-sweet. My dad had been his daycare. He spent all his days I needed covered with my father then. I had been out of work a while with a back injury so he had him for doctors appointments and therapy and such.

My dad's whole life was Dylan. He loved watching him.

And then when he died, I was forced to not only go back to work, but to find someone else to watch Dylan. Put my little boy's day-to-day activities into the hands of a stranger.

I luckily had a recommendation and his first home daycare was with a wonderful woman and her 2 boys. It was just the 3 of them hanging out and learning together everyday. It was just, well expensive. But she was great with him and I adored her.

His second one was in a larger group, and in a place that was through the agency I had been on a waiting list to get into. Not that particular place per-say, but in order to get on a sliding scale based on my income.

It was maybe 10 kids, including her 3 and it was a good atmosphere yet again. I had been seeming to luck out in that department.

Although, my commute was crap. I would drive from Hull to Holbrook and then to Mansfield for work and it was crap.

Then, when he was about 2 1/2, a woman from the main agency sent me a letter saying he was ready for school.


How is that possible?? I didn't realize kids started school that young! Apparently he was social and smart and ready for preschool.

I was like, um ok sure.

So off he went to the big school facility. He was in preschool there for 2 years and then again BOOM! He was ready for kindergarten. Well, "Pre-K" IN Kindergarten.

He was too smart to stay in preschool, but too young due to the age cut-off date to "officially" be in kindergarten apparently. SO they decided, ah what the heck, let's put him in there anyway.

But this year, even after having done a year of kindergarten last year, this year he gets to ride the school bus.

This year I got to buy him dress-to-impress new school clothes and shoes and get him a snazzy new haircut.

That yellow bus pulled up yesterday, and of COURSE when things regard MY child, it was half an hour late. He waited rather impatiently at his little bus stop, looking longingly down the street waiting for the bus to come down the street.

When it finally turned that corner and made its way towards us, he was jumping with excitement. Literally jumping. And I found myself jumping too. I was brimming with pride. I thought maybe, just maybe I may tear up, but I didn't. I just grinned like an idiot and snapped photos like a member of the paparazzi.

He couldn't get on that bus fast enough. I had to force him to slow down for my maternal photo ops and then he bolted right up, without so much as a brief hesitation.

After he hopped on the bus and sat down, window seat looking all proud of himself (and of COURSE me snapping away as if my life depended on it), I scurried off to the school. Naturally I HAD to also document him getting OFF the bus for the first time and lining up with his class!

And of course, the bus was again late, causing the whole class to sit outside waiting and waiting impatiently, as 5 year olds get. The teachers now starting to wonder aloud "Where IS that last bus?"

So here it finally comes, 20 minutes after it was supposed to be there to drop the kids off. And who is the first kid off the bus? Dylan.

He barrel-asses out of the bus and RUNS to line up with his class. Ready and excited to start his day at a new school. The very same school I went to kindergarten in. With bells to signal the class times and water fountains in the hallway. A school nurse and a guidance counselor. A REAL school.

And it all began with that big yellow bus.

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