Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Maybe If I Listen In On His Phone Calls

There is a ton of planning that goes into heralding the first day of school. And by God this was first day of fifth grade, you understand. Even Jake cared about the condition and procurement of all school supplies, a haircut, and a first day outfit. We've had discussions about his new teacher, his friends, girls, lunch menus. He has been forthcoming, enthusiastic, and downright garrulous.

Additionally today was the first day ever of riding the bus home. Olivia and I, escorted by Simon, walked down to the end of the block and parked ourselves under a palm tree and waited for our little man to exit the bus.

I had been surprised at the lack of difficulty or fanfare with which a child becomes a bus rider. Apparently when you are a fifth grader, you are allegedly armed with enough sense to get on the correct bus, behave, and get off on the correct stop, all of which this hovering mother believes Jake can handle about as well as, say, Olivia. And as the minutes ticked by, post-dismissal, my ADD kicked in full-force and my memory went decidedly blank. Did I tell Jake the right bus to get on (Bus Aqua)? Did I tell him where to get off (he'd recognize our street, right)? Did I tell him to ride the bus today, or were we starting next week? Should I run home? Should I run to school? No, no, no. I gathered myself. He knew what to do, we had talked about everything during the last week. I had explained, he had listened, we were completely in a communicative, engaging relationship now.

The bus pulled up and Jake jumped off like a truly seasoned public transportee. I kept my distance to allow him to look cool in front of the other busriders, as I am reminded daily what an embarassment I can be. I couldn't wait to hear about the day, all the gossip. We would share so much, he'd been so looking forward to this. And remember, he and I had turned a relationship corner--we were confidants! He grinned big when he reached me, and petted Simon and Olivia.

"Well," I hugged him conspiratorially. "How was it?"

"Fine." He said.

And as of now, at 9:36 pm, that is still all I know.


Walter said...

For Mom? Mum's the word.

tracy said...

Who knew that a 4 letter word like FINE could mean so much and so little all at the same time? Sometimes I despise the English language. I went to pick up J at school today, her first day of 5th grade (which is middle school for her with lockers and everything) and unfortunately for me right when J walked out our buddy family asked if J could go over to their house. I could only say yes as their daughter is a new student and I want her to feel welcome and secure knowing she has a friend. Before J ran off, I asked how was it. The response, you guessed it, FINE. So at 10:45 I sit in the exact same place as you. It was such a let down. Oh well there will be other opportunities, I hope!!