Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Night Bus

I set the alarm for early. I didn’t need to. Knowing that my son had to catch a bus at 6:10 a.m. for his first day of high school made me anxious and I woke up anyway.

As I sloughed downstairs toward the coffee machine, I thought over my son's upcoming busy day. He has six classes before going to lunch. There’s one class after lunch and then school’s over. He could catch the bus after that, but he has marching band practice, which begins an hour after school ends. He will spend this hour studying before getting a good workout and then going home.

So, with darkness prevalent outside, I poured myself a cup of coffee and enjoyed a bowl of mini-wheats while he chowed down on frosted flakes. I soon realized my wife, who equates rising in the darkness to pigs flying, was up as well. She wanted to say goodbye before he left, too.
My older son before he leaves for school.
My wife took pictures to mark the day. Then, I walked him to his bus stop. We were the first to arrive, but another kid showed up a minute later. At that point, I knew he would want me to leave. So, I said goodbye and avoided every instinct in me that wanted to give him a hug.

As I reached the front steps of my house, the bus entered our subdivision. The bus drove to the back and then turned around, passing our house, and then stopped at the place where I’d left my son. It was hard to tell in the darkness, but it looked as if ten kids got on the bus.

The engine noise rose and then faded away as the bus left our neighborhood. My wife sighed as it did. “That sound used to wake me in the morning,” she said. “Hard to believe my son is now on that bus.” They grow so fast.

I took a shower and got ready for work, packing my briefcase and fixing my lunch. As I was about to leave, I heard the sound of small footsteps as my ten-year old sloughed downstairs, headed for the fridge and some orange juice.

He had come down to say goodbye.

He didn’t want me to leave without getting a hug.

My younger son before he leaves for school.


DEZMOND said...

sounds like you got some really nice kids. Wishing your son all the best in his first High School days.

Walt Mussell said...

Thanks, Dezmond. I'm looking forward to four interesting years.