This week has been full of big transitions for our family. My oldest LP, started kindergarten, my youngest, PP, is a little lost, my mother-in-law, Rose, is settling into her retirement and I am getting ready for a very different fall semester; so many big changes.
Monday morning the whole family walked LP down to the bus stop. She was adamant about taking the bus to school. Every adult in the house would rather have dropped her off but we all were willing to let her try it out. We hesitantly walked her up to a crowd of children standing at the top of the street. Most of the faces were familiar with a few new faces but all were energized and welcoming. The older kids in the neighborhood immediately recognized our confused adult faces and gave us the inside details of our particular bus stop. The middle school bus is first, then the private school, then the South Franklin, and then finally LP’s bus. They also gave us little tips on times, drivers, and procedures. All of this information made us feel more at ease.
LP was completely focused on the big yellow buses pulling up taking the kids off to the various schools in the area. Her bus was the last one to pull up to our stop. With the confirmation that it was in fact her bus, she turned her back to us, leapt up the stairs, and disappeared down the aisle of seats. The bus driver smiled at our shocked faces, gave us a quick wave, shut the door and continued down her route. This transition was made without tears, kisses, or hugs. LP was excited to go and was ready for this big leap.
As the day proceeded, I found myself counting the minutes until I could get in the car to pick her up. As the hours passed by slowly, the magnitude of this event seeped in. My first born has begun her academic career, she will be in the care of teachers, faculty and staff for the majority of the hours of each weekday. These days will build into years, the years will take her through her first words read to college calculus.
Parenting is the art of taking a dependent being and guiding that little being into an independent one. I am proud of LP and of us that we made it to this point prepared and confident. So well prepared, that my newbie kindergartner did not even steal a quick glance over her shoulder to find our reassuring faces. She simply hopped on the bus and traveled down the road, her own road. A road that is separate from Matt and I, one that she will define but we will guide. I have gone from the driver to the navigator with a simple act of stepping on the big yellow bus.