D started first grade this morning. (Note the little face in the window. Yes, we did bring her when we walked down to the bus stop!)
It was a dreary, drizzly morning, so we all donned our rain gear. After taking the obligatory “first day of school picture” in front of my newly planted mums, we traipsed down to the end of our street where the bus stop is located.
As we approached the corner, there was such a crowd gathered that I wondered if we had been excluded from a block party or something. There are five little girls on our street starting kindergarten this year, and I think each of them was accompanied by both parents and assorted younger siblings. I spent the next 10 minutes waiting for the bus while trying to dodge the 52 camcorders and 168 cameras that were pointing in every direction.
In stark contrast to the gaggle of girls, all spit-shined and decked out in their first-day-of-school-finery, greeting eachother with squeals and giggles, the four boys on our street are all school bus veterans of various ages, and they looked like they had been drug down the street against their wills as they greeted eachother with bored waves and even a few sleepy yawns.
The bus finally arrived, 10 minutes later than scheduled, and the kids piled on in a flurry of waves and hugs and kisses. I noticed a few of the moms surreptitiously wiping a tear from their eyes, but I’m way too practical for that. Besides, I’ve done this before, right?
I quickly located D’s bright yellow raincoat in a bus window, and as the bus drove off, I saw him waving widely. I waved back until the bus was out of sight, and I’m positive that the stinging in my eyes was due entirely to the wind.