Monday, September 26, 2011
I FINALLY have a use for the phrase, "I lost my child." Because I did...I lost my nine-year-old son. As I stood in my living room quietly freaking out and wondering how to call the school and politely inquire as to whether my child got himself on the bus and got to school, it occurred to me that I can finally say I lost my child...and mean it. HA!
You see, last weekend I injured my foot pretty badly while photographing a wedding. So I was off my foot all last week due to the excruciating pain (not broken, just a bad sprain according to the Urgent Care doc I saw on Wednesday) and Sam rode the school bus. Ah yes, the school bus. Let me digress and tell you about the school bus...
Sam has never ridden the school bus to/from school. We live ten minutes from school and it is on my way to work. The bus ride used to be about 45 minutes. We just decided that it would be better if I drove him and picked him up.
But this year is fourth grade and he wanted to give it a try. Part of it was that some friends of his were going to be transferring from another school in the district to our school. But Sam found out the night before that they weren't, in fact, going to transfer. I was so proud of him for not having a fit...I thought this would be a breeze.
So the first day of school I sent him off on the bus. He changed his mind two or three times waiting for the bus to arrive...before settling on going through with it. I took the obligatory "boarding the bus" photo...and then I followed it (not because I'm crazy, but because, like I said, it is on the way to work). About halfway there, I realized Sam got on the bus without his lunch! oop! So I turned around and hightailed it home so I could catch him and give him his lunch before he de-bussed and went into the school.
I walked up to the side of the bus, looking in the windows for my boy. And when I spotted him, my heart broke into a thousand tiny little pieces. There he was...crying. And not just a little tear down the cheek kind of crying. We're talking snotty sobbing that almost cause vomit.
The bus driver, thinking Sam was upset because he had forgotten his lunch, allowed him off the bus before everyone else and we hugged. I gave him his lunch and he cried and we hugged. And right then I just wanted to roll back the clock to when growing up didn't have so many expectations and my little boy could just BE a little boy.
As the weeks went on, we settled into a routine and he would ride the bus on designated days. It worked. But then I hurt my foot and he had to ride the bus every day...to AND from school. I was SO proud of him when he did it all week without a single complaint. And honestly, after a week of staying home, I was ready when Monday rolled around and I could take him to school and go to work.
I showered and dressed and went downstairs calling out, "OK Sam, ready to go?"
Yep...he went off and got himself on the bus...but didn't say goodbye. But there was that moment of irrational panic. Should I call the school? What if I don't call the school and he's really been kidnapped and I won't find out until AFTER school? I could lose precious time finding my little lost boy if I didn't call and find out for sure! But that's totally insane. Of course he got on the bus and is at school! Nobody could kidnap him at our house without at least one dog barking. Don't be crazy!
I made Steve call.
And now I find it hilariously funny when I say that I lost a child.