The day before, I made sure that Caitlin was all packed and ready to go to her first day of Junior High including laying all of her clothes out. I put her bus ticket and locker combination in a snack sized zippy bag with $5 hiding in between the two pieces of paper. Mind you this would be the first time she had to go to a school that I hadn't taught at. (It is really hard to be late to school when your mom is the teacher.)
The next morning, Caitlin got up to her alarm clock without being prompted, got dressed, and prepared herself some breakfast. My main worry was that I had to leave by 6:45 to get to work no later than 7:00, and her bus wasn't to arrive until 7:39. I was going to have to rely on her father to get her on the bus.
Feeling a little wary, I left for school, dreading the worst...her missing the bus.
It wasn't until I got home that I found out my fears weren't unwarranted.
First of all, I rushed home from school to catch Caitlin getting off the bus, only it wasn't there. I waited a reasonable amount of time until I called her school, not wanting to sound like an overanxious mother. The secretary told me Caitlin's bus was on the route and should be by our house in about ten minutes. In the meantime, my husband called asking me how Caitlin's day went, and I had to tell him she wasn't home. I then asked him how Caitlin's morning went, and he told me this story:
I sent Caitlin out to the bus stop at 7:30. Around 7:42 I looked up and saw the red-headed boys from down the street walking back home from the stop and getting in their mother's car. I walked down to the bus and found Caitlin sitting on the ground. I asked her what the matter was, and Caitlin said she couldn't find her BUS TICKET (You know the one that I so carefully put away for her.) I brought her home and dumped her school bag and couldn't find it until Caitlin remembered about some secret zipper she had put her things in. After packing her things back in her bag, I opened the front door only to see the bus passing by. I threw Caitlin in the car and followed the bus to the next stop and got her on the bus.
All I could think as my husband was telling me this was, "Better you than me." I then hung up the phone and went outside to wait for the bus that still hadn't arrived and ten minutes had long since passed. Now I had to decide if I would continue to play the part of the overprotective mother or just wait patiently for the bus to come. I chose the latter and sat in the dining room where I could see the bus roll by.
Five minutes later I saw a bus go down the road, so I went out to watch Caitlin get off the bus and then ran back in the house and put my feet up to act like I never had a doubt that she would get home in one piece.
Caitlin came in and told me all about her day, including being late to band because she couldn't find the band hall. Well, hopefully the next day goes better.