No lie, August 17, 2012 I think I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in Grace’s life… including birthing the child… I let her ride the bus home from school on her first full day of Kindergarten. I did not cry on her first half day, I did not cry even when we dropped her off at her first full day, I didn’t even cry at the “Boo Hoo Breakfast” where their sole purpose is to make you bawl like a baby… But when I got home and realized that I would not be picking my child up from school, I had a full on melt down and cried like a baby.
Oh my goodness, I am not used to Grace being so confident and eager to try things by herself. She is the kid who cried when I walked downstairs in our house, and she was still playing upstairs…like maybe even until last week. She was terrified that I’d walk out to get the mail and leave her inside by herself… She has always been kind of attached.
But not today, buddy. The first thing she said when I picked her up from her half day was, “I wanna ride the bus tomorrow.”
“Um, Ok… well, let’s talk about it, let’s ask Daddy what he thinks… you don’t HAVE to ride on your first day…”
“I know, but I want to ride it!”
Well, against all the fibers in my being, I said yes… thinking if I showed any hesitation at all, or anxiety about it, it would kill her confidence….So, that’s what we did.
Maybe I didn’t realize it until a few minutes after I walked in the door yesterday, that she would actually be riding the bus home….
…And I cried, for maybe 2 hours, then fell asleep for 2 hours (harper was running some errands with mom when I happened to pass out from crying-exhaustion), woke up, ate lunch, put Harper down for a nap…and paced the floor for oh, I’d say…3.5 hours. Eventually I put the pacing to good use and started cleaning… needless to say, the house was spotless.
When the clock hit 3:35, I was a mess again… good Lord… that’s when she was getting on the bus for the first time in her life with all kinds of big kids that she doesn’t know… And talk about the wait until I actually saw the bus pulling up. Holy Moses, I was running through the list of things I needed to do to file a missing child alert when she didn’t get off at our stop.
….And then like magic, here came the bus, the lights started flashing, and it actually stopped, right in front of us… and out came the smiley-est 5 year old girl you’d ever seen; ever so confident, and dare I say a little surprised that she had done this all by herself.
I think a 2 ton weight lifted off my shoulders at that point and I took the first deep breath I’d taken all day. She made it, she wasn’t crying, she was actually smiling, she had big girls waving bye to her out the window when she got off… and she had a fan club waiting for her at the stop…she was on cloud 9.
…And then I breathed again, made sure to notice if the baby was still moving since I think I had deprived him of oxygen all day; and I prayed and thanked Jesus who has really turned this timid little girl into a confident little 5 year old who is ready for new things…