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The Greatest of Life's Adventures... Parenting

For those of you who aren't acquainted with my son this story will help enlighten you to the brilliant and vivid hue that is his personality. If you have already seen his will in action, you'll no doubt get a real kick out of this and share it with everyone we've known.

My neighbor and I car pool to the elementary school. On certain days of the week she drops off and picks up the kids and on other days I do. Today was my day and is typical I drove over, parked, and waited for the bell to ring. When at exactly 3:12 PM that sound stirred me from draft 2 of my personal essay* I got out of the car, as I usually do, and walked over to the fence line to await the munchkins.

Typically this is incredibly monotonous in routine. The neighbor girl is first to get out, she runs over and we have a little vocal battle about going around the fence as opposed to over it. Then my daughter comes out, tries to sneak up on me and I must act surprised. Usually while this is going on my son is slowly dragging his backpack across the playground from the Kindergarten doors on the other side. Today he didn't.

Today, he didn't come out at all. I waited with the girls for several minutes before I deduced that his teacher must be holding him in the classroom, wanting me to come in for some reason. Maybe he'd gotten in more trouble than usual and she wanted to discuss it with me. I grumbled a bit but, wanting to see my son, immediately went across the tiny street (that seriously needs to be expanded to allot for the amount of cars that frequent it) to get the baby and march all four of us in to see what is going on.

With baby on hip I turn the corner into the Kindergarten hall, the girls mere moments from breaking into an all out run down the now empty corridor. I turn again at the first classroom and run straight into two women standing on chairs stapling things to the wall, neither is my son's teacher and the classroom is otherwise empty.

"Can I help you?" One of the nice ladies asks.

I'm confused at this point, wondering if maybe I'd missed him on the playground, wondering if perhaps he'd just ignored the fact that I was there because he'd wanted to play.

"There aren't any little ones in here are there?" I ask.

"No. Are you looking for one?"

"My son isn't on the playground, so I thought maybe he was still in here." I left out the part about not being so sure anymore.

"What's his name?"

I told them and a look of undescribable emotion crosses one ladies face. A silent moment passes, or maybe I said something, I can't remember since her next words were so startling (well, and NOT startling at the same time... Erika, Ivy, Jen... you'll understand)

"He doesn't ride a bus?" She asks, although I think it cost her some to say the words.

"No..." I say tentatively. "Did that little devil tell you he did?"

"He said he rode the bus." She wasn't listening to me anymore.

We're now all running down the hall, two ladies, two 1st grade girls and mom with baby on hip, everyone is trying to remain calm. You know that hurried calm speaking that a parent manages so well. The one where fear is right at the edge and a million things are running through your mind but you don't want the children near you to react kind of speech.

"Most of the buses have left by now." The other lady says rapidly, "but there is still one left, maybe he's there."

We burst through the doors and the first lady (whose evidently the poor substitute teacher) spots my son before anyone else. She points and I turn; there he is sitting in the front of the line as if the he's meant to be there. The bus pulls up and he stands with the rest, puts on his backpack and starts walking. The world takes on a slow motion feeling for just a moment before the girls start screaming and running in his direction me hot on their heels.

He looks up startled, then upon hearing the shouted 'NO!'s bursts into tears and runs off down the grass and around the corner of the school. The girls turn and follow him, the teachers are both gone and I am left to lug my 3o lb baby another several yards to where my first born son sits sobbing in the shade.

"I want to ride the bus, mommy!" He cries. I'm torn between laughing, loving, and scolding. I settle in on the ground next to him (baby now in lap), wrap my free arm around him and let him cry. We sit there for several minutes, me deciding not to say anything to him until we get home and the girls deciding they needed to explain in no uncertain terms how bad it is for him to try sneaking on a bus. (They actually told him that people could steal him.) Finally the little neighbor girl supplies;

"My mom is going to get worried about me."

She's right, so I haul myself, baby and 5 year old off the ground and, with my two little girl satellites, trudge back across the teacher's parking lot, playground, and tiny street to the truck, all the while with one hand around the baby and one holding my little boys hand.

So there you go. I remember telling Krista when we first moved to Montana the if someone didn't watch my 5 year old in sunday school class that he'd up and leave before anyone noticed. I remember telling his nursery leaders at church when he was a mere 18 months that if they weren't careful he'd walk out when someone was coming in. I've had more experiences than one where I've found him in the parking lot, on the grass, or at the neighbor's when I haven't been watching. I tried to warn his teacher, but I guess I can give the substitute some leeway since she had no way to gadge his little mind.

I wonder what this little trait of his is going to mature into? I hope it won't have anything to do with getting in and out of banks.

*see previous post


Winsor said…
I can't help but adore that little boy of yours.
Anonymous said…
I lost my daughter at school one time too. It's terrifying. It ended up that she was watching a movie with some other kids in the music room.
That "little devil" nickname is quited accurate for him.
cannwin said…
Longfellow says that children are:
..."better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.

I think I'd have to agree.
Sara Crandall said…
Just think without him, there would be less interesting stories!
Polly Blevins said…
I lauged so hard at this story. I had to tell a bunch of people too. I'm sure it was scary for you but very comical for me (just because it turned out alright).
Polly Blevins said…
I lauged so hard at this story. I had to tell a bunch of people too. I'm sure it was scary for you but very comical for me (just because it turned out alright).

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