I keep seeing drawings and crafty creations around the house that suddenly seem like they were done by a little kid. And stepping off the bus this afternoon will be a big kid.
Will she be the same? Will she still love to make fun from nothing and curl up on my knee when she’s tired?
We’ve had lunch. The house is quiet and empty and Maeve is asking again when the bus will be here. She ate some of her sandwich then asked if she could have a bath (because that’s what you do when you’re two and not quite sure what to do with yourself. I bet, if she could, she’d write).
‘My fren ten is in here,’ she announced as she sat up one end of the bath and left plenty of room at the other end for her ‘pretend friend’.
Elsie caught the bus this morning. She actually squealed with delight when she saw it coming down the road; she’s seen it go around the corner for years and was starting to call it her bus.
As it pulled away we waved. Maybe she did too, but we couldn’t see her (she was too short to see out the window).
Then Anthony looked like this:
And we both cried.
I followed the bus into town, watched the driver park the bus at the high school and walk her to another bus that waited to take her to her school.
When I met her at her school she was happy and eager to get in the gate.
‘Can we go in now, Mum?’ she asked, leading me toward the classroom.
She turned back to add, ‘This is going to be good, isn’t it, Mum?’
Good. Good? Today? The next 13 years?
Yes baby, it will be good. Sometimes you’ll love it. Maybe sometimes you’ll hate it. Sometimes you’ll love me, maybe sometimes you’ll hate me. Right now you enjoy me walking with you to the bus. One day you’ll wish I’d walk a few steps behind. You’ll make lots of friends, probably lifelong ones, and you’ll learn more than how to read and write. I was proud of you stepping onto that big bus and choosing a seat and I’ll be proud of every milestone you reach after this one. Most before now, we’ve reached together. Most from now on will be yours alone.
And now I might go and have a bath or something.