Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stay on the porch

My independent, stubborn, overly confident, and somewhat too-big-for-her-britches child named Jessa gives me these instructions many times each day. See, the bus stop is on the other side of the street. Thus, she not only wants me on my side of the street - she wants me to stay on the porch. This is better than her original idea which was inside with the door closed and curtains drawn. (Isn't she too young to be this ashamed of her old mom??) The porch is sort of a compromise, I guess.
Last week was her first (and incredibly well documented) experience with riding the bus. I mentioned David's sweetness with not wanting to miss any of the school stuff. Well, bless his heart, he left work at about 3 to hurry home so he could watch his first born disembark from the bus for the first time on this special first day. Seriously, he was SO excited that he even stayed inside peeking out an upstairs window so he would be the first one to see the bus and then alert Spencer and me (out front) when the bus was almost here.

Then there was Spence. He missed her. Bad. All day, he kept asking, "When is Jessa coming?" And starting at about noon, about every 5 minutes or so, "Mommy, where is that bus?" At one point, he was very upset and said, "Mommy. I am worried. I think Jessa is lost. She should be back by now." So he was barely able to contain his excitement about being reunited with his absolute favorite person on the planet.

Of course, it goes without saying that I was about to jump out of my skin. Friday was BY FAR the longest day of my life (to date). I wanted to know every detail. I wanted to know if she was scared. I wondered if she was lonely. Did she get lost? Or confused? Who did she sit with on the bus? Did she sit with a friend at lunch? Did she get in trouble? If I could have put a bug in her sweater, I would have. Basically, I was about to burst to see her, hug her, talk to her, OK, yes, I'll admit it, interrogate her.

Spencer and I hear a pounding of big army boot feet running down the stairs. This is it. The bus is almost here. So when we see it rounding the corner, I say to David, "Should I go across the street??" And he said "YES," mainly because he wanted to go over there, too.

This was a mistake.
What were we thinking???

As the 3 of us are excitedly looking at each child as they walk down the steps, we finally see Jessa. Her reaction was well, not what we expected and not what we wanted. If looks could kill, there would be a triple funeral in the works. Get my drift?

She not only was disappointed to see us, but she very haughtily said to me, "I told you to stay on the porch." And turned to walk away from us. I have no idea where the little priss thought she was going. Our house was the other direction and across the street. David shrugged and jumped back into his car to go back to work. Spencer and I steered her across the street, and tried to not make her any angrier. Man, did we mess up.

By the time she came home, she was exhausted from her first full day of bona fide SCHOOL. I am sure it was draining for her to take in all the rules and procedures, not to mention 3 trips to the playground. Plus, by the time she boarded the bus bound for home, she was a seasoned, bus riding veteran, right? So why would she want or need for her whole family to be waiting for her. How embarrassing! If only she could write a letter to YM about how mortified she was. . .

Once in the house, she looked at me and with huge tears in her eyes said, "Mommy! I did not want y'all there. I am just ill. I told you to stay on the porch! I am tired. And I am ill. And I think I need a nap!"

So I left her alone. Finally, when she approached me, I explained to her that we just love her and we missed her, and that it was a big day for all of us, too. She apologized profusely, and we decided that from now on, she would tell me when it was OK to ask her questions and for the love of Pete, we would stay on the porch.

Fast forward to Monday:
I was on the porch.

Spencer was on the porch.

The bus pulled up.

We stayed where we were.

We waited.

We watched.

And then there was our girl!
Sorry the picture is pretty blurry - apparently,
when we are on the porch, she can run faster!

She was ever so happy to see us. She ran up the drive-way - beaming, grinning from ear to ear. She was thrilled to tell us about her day. We both got hugs and kisses. So in case you were wondering, after our warm reception, Spence and I have learned our lesson.
We are staying on the porch.


MaryBeth said...

I love it!! " tired, and ill, and think I need a nap". She's a hoot!

kate said...

Ha ha! I love it!