Jedi’s bus stop is almost a block away from our house. As a 7 year old kid, I don’t feel comfortable with him making the trek on his own. As such, I walk with him on a regular basis. Along with Abby in her stroller and Buzz running amok. Through rain, snow, or shine.
We’ve had a routine in place since the first day, though. Jedi and his brother play close by a tree. When the bus arrives, I give Jedi a quick kiss on the cheek and a hug and a high five. “Have a great day!”, I urge. I tell him I love him and he’ll say it back before he bounds for his yellow carriage, always the last to board. Without fail.
As with all routines, though, there comes a day when it gets thrown off course.
Instead, he immediately took his place at the edge of the road with the other kids waiting for their bus. When it arrived, he offered a polite wave before turning around to climb on. No I love you’s, no hugs, no high fives. I stood there, sad and sentimental for my little boy.
When he returned home that night, I brought it up. “Do you think you’re getting too big to give me a kiss goodbye?”, I wondered seriously. If he really thought so, while it’d be hard to refrain myself, I wouldn’t push the issue.
“No”, he answered in earnest, “I was just tired of always being the last on the bus.”
And with that, I breathed a sigh of relief. I know it’s not going to be too much longer before he feels embarrassed by me, but at least it’s not yet. Truth be told, I’d be tired of always being last, too.