“Here comes the bus!” I exclaimed, punch drunk on contrived giddiness. “This is so exciting!”
It was my five year-old’s first day of camp, and although it wasn’t raining like the forecast suggested, the air was cloudy with some heavy skepticism. The silver lining was more like a dull grey paranoia. Odds were an even 50/50 on whether he would actually board that bus. My money said no.
All along I knew it was crapshoot. The boy who still has a hard time letting me go out for dinner, might have a wee little problem getting on a bus and heading off to the unknown. And it was possible, that regularly playing hooky from nursery was now going to bite me in the arse.
For weeks, I had been talking camp up, saying how he was going to swim and play with his friends. There would be baseball and pony rides. Games and all that crap. My enthusiasm was matched only by his apathy.
Me – “Camp is going to be so fun!”
Him – “I don’t like camp.”
Since he had not yet started camp and had not been to any camp since last summer, I conveniently waved it away with more nauseating gaiety, which he consistently responded with some variation of “Camp is stupid.”
Best not to think about that now.
The happy mini yellow bus, pulled right up before us and opened its squeaky doors. Without even a look back, my child boarded. What? Wow. And I was all worried.
He’s actually going!
I enjoyed that moment for maybe 10 seconds, before my child, his face a scrunch of turmoil and tears, ran from the bus like his seat belt was snakes. Quicker than I could catch him, he hid behind the bushes on my lawn.
Yup. Not going.
“Baby?” I called tentatively. “Come on.”
But my baby just backed further away, eyes cartoon wild.
With a deep sigh, I waved the bus off.
The bus driver nodded but said, “Okay, but tomorrow, you put him on the bus crying or not. He’ll be fine.” Uh, presumptuous much?
Then the happy school bus, which for me, is always mixed with a bit of horror – maybe all those movies of singing children being led off to doom – continued to its next stop.
I found my sniveling child, snot connecting him to the bushes like spider webs.
“It’s okay, baby. The bus is gone. Do you want me to drive you?”
He shook his head no. He did not want to go to camp. Ever. That of course, was not going to happen.
I led him inside, trying to comfort him while also trying not to get tangled in the snot.
Getting him off on the right foot was important. Getting him to be more independent was important. Getting him to the camp which we’d already paid for was definitely important.
We had a lot of stuff to accomplish here.That Kindergarten bus was right around the corner.
Hey! It’s my 1 year blogger-versary! One year, people!! I raise my cone to you in thanks. You guys are the best.