Monday, August 25, 2008

Big Yellow Bus, No kid.

Well, if that doesn't say it all?

A few minutes to 2:20 (when H's bus was supposed to be here) I hear the sounds of it rolling down the street and excitedly tell O that her big sister is almost here, that her bus is coming! And of course, she comes running and then the dog materializes from under one of the beds upstairs, and comes sprinting down the stairs, barking all the way (I really have to work on that one.)

I take up my usual stance in the doorway (She feels she's too old to have me actually meeting her at the bus stop which is just across the street from the end of our drive) holding the storm door open, an excited and expectant look on my face, waiting to see H come running around the front of the bus with her long blond hair flying out behind her, ready to tell me all about her first day of fourth grade.

From my vantage point, I can just see the bus door swinging shut again and I can see some of the kids scattering. I keep looking, waiting. The bus starts to turn around in the culdesac, I am still looking around, trying to see if I missed her somehow. No sign of her anywhere. I look down the street the other way to the bus stop before ours, a place she would sometimes get off last year since one of her good friends lives there. Not a person in sight. I wait for the bus to finish turning around, thinking that perhaps this bus driver didn't want her to cross the road (some don't) and that he was going to stop by the front of our house and let her out there. The bus rolls on by. Panic starts to set in. OMG, where is she! They must have gotten it all screwed up at school, they didn't get the note I sent in this morning saying which bus she was supposed to be on (she wasn't on the bus list like she was supposed to have been in the first place.) I look back down the street towards the other stop. Nothing. No signs of anyone.

My heart racing a mile a minute, I rush back inside and can't seem to find the number to the school fast enough (sorry, I can't say I have it memorized.) I tell them what's happened, that H was supposed to be on Bus#X and it just left and she's no where to be seen. They put me on hold while they try to check it out on their end, all the while I am panicking, thinking that maybe I need to jump in the car and go up to school in case she didn't even get on a bus. But then I think what would happen if she did get on a bus, but not the correct one? Or what if the bus comes back and drops her off when I am not here (having gone up to school to find her!)

Then, while on hold, the caller-id shows up on the display. It's the friend's house down the street. What!? I am gonna kill her (if she's there...and she'd better be there damn it!) I quickly click over and it's H. Before she can get a word out I tell her I am on the phone with school and everyone is looking for her and she'd better get her butt home right now. I force myself to take a breath. I can finally swallow again now that my heart isn't in my throat. After another minute, the school clicks back over, saying they are still working on it, just need another second and I have to interupt them with the embarassing news that my daughter did indeed get on the bus, but got off at a stop she was not supposed to. Yes, I feel stupid now. And disappointed.

I was so eager to see H and see how her first day had been. I even had my camera ready to get a picture of her since I didn't get one this morning and I have this sort of habit of taking the kids' pictures the first day of school each year. All my excitement and happiness for her went out the door in light of my panic and then subsequent aggravation. I had to get over the annoyance though, once my stomach had settled back down, so I could ask her about her day and how it went.


So sad though...I had it all laid out in my mind, how it would be and in an instant it was gone. I wish I was a better person, that I could get over that anxiety and annoyance her mistake had caused more readily. I think, at the heart of it though, and what wounds the most, is that she didn't even think about me or that I'd be wanting to see her, anxious to see how the day had gone. It's all about the friends. Oh well, I guess I'd better get used to that. I hear it's only going to get worse in the coming years.

No comments: