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Riding the school bus - that was my favorite part of going to school when I was a kindergartener.
Actually, eating lunch was probably my favorite part. (Ask any lunch lady who worked at St. Charles Elementary School. They’ll tell you.) But, riding the school bus came in at a close second.
I vividly remember standing at the end of the driveway in front of my house on Sallie Ray Pike before the sun came up waiting for the school bus. I remember always feeling this hint of excitement as I listened intently, waiting to hear the roar of the engine.
Riding the school bus made me feel like a big kid. I got to sit with my favorite babysitters – sisters Trena, Michelle and Dana Lee – and they would share their chewing gum with my twin sister and me every afternoon. It was one of the highlights of my day.
It’s the little things that get your attention when you’re young.
It’s the little things that make you happy.
I wish that continued as you got older, but it just doesn’t.
Thankfully, having a 5-year-old son reminds me of how important the little things truly are. He reminds me on a daily basis.
On his 5th birthday, it wasn’t the huge “Super Owen” photos on the walls of his newly decorated “big boy” bedroom that excited him.
Instead, it was the new, $5 nightlight.
During his birthday party, it wasn’t the super hero cupcakes or giant water slide that earned me a huge hug. Rather, it was the mini-cans of soda pop in the refrigerator that he only gets to drink once a year that made him squeal with glee.
And, on his first day of kindergarten, it wasn’t the playground or the gymnasium or the class full of new friends that excited him.
It was riding that big, yellow school bus.
Ironically, it’s also the part of going to school that I was most nervous about as his over-protective mother. But, you gotta cut me some slack. I’m still trying to get used to the fact that my son is a 5-year-old kindergartener who rides the school bus every afternoon.
He’s still a baby in my eyes.
It’s alarming, almost frightening, how quickly the first five years of his life have gone by… and I’m trying to catch my breath.
Recently, I pleaded with Owen, “Please stop growing up so fast.”
To which he replied, “Momma, you know that’s the way it goes, right?”
Indeed, Owen, I do.