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Friday, August 24, 2012


Last year Jacob rode the bus every day to his early-intervention pre-school. 
 JoAnn, our nice bus driver, would pick him up at our front door and safely bring him back to the house at the end of the school day.  Jacob likes to ride the bus.  In fact, we decided that riding the bus was an important part of Jacob's transition into kindergarten, and we included "transportation" as part of his I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan).

On Tuesday JoAnn picked up Jacob for the first day of school.  
  Jacob was excited to go to school and He was excited to be on the bus! The teacher's aide said Jacob had a great first day.  That was until it was time to come home.
Silly me. 
 I had thought that Jacob would really enjoy coming home with the rest of our neighborhood carpool after school.  He would feel like a big kid.  It would probably be faster than waiting for the bus to get home.  And, after all, Nataleigh would be there. It just made sense.  
Except, it didn't make any sense to Jacob. 

As soon as Jacob left his classroom he saw his bus. 
"I need to go on the bus" he told his teacher aide.
"No, your Mommy said you are going home with carpool" she replied.
"No, I need to ride the bus!" he insisted.
At this point Jacob explodes into tears.  He can't understand why he is not getting on the bus.
Luckily, (a heaven-sent tender mercy) I was driving carpool that day and decided to walk to his classroom and make sure Jacob knew where the meeting spot was.

You might think that as soon as Jacob saw me, his Mom, he would stop crying and be consoled.  
"I need to go on the bus" he cried.
I tried to explain to him that he didn't have to ride the bus home.  I would drive him home.  He "got" to ride in our car--home-- with the carpool group. 
Jacob wanted nothing to do with carpool.  He continued to cry and insist that he ride the bus.
In situations like this, I am grateful for the inspiration I have been blessed with to be Jacob's Mom.  It may have taken me a minute, but suddenly the light bulb went off and I knew what to do.
"Okay Jacob.  Let's get on the bus."
We marched to the bus pick up area and JoAnn was there to greet him.
"I guess we are going on the bus" I told her.
"Okay!"  She said. "Come 'on Jacob, let's get on the bus."
JoAnn, our nice bus driver, took Jacob by hand and together they got on the bus.  
Jacob stopped crying.
I followed the bus home and dropped off carpool.
JoAnn met us at the house and opened the bus doors for Jacob to get off the bus.
Jacob was all smiles.

I am grateful for JoAnn.  I am grateful that she understands my sweet Jacob. I am grateful for buses which help him transition successfully from our home, to school, and back.  Yes, routines are very important for us.  They are especially important when we are making a big transition from pre-school to  Kindergarten.

From Jacob to Ethan, all the school-bound children are experiencing the natural transitions of a new school year. 
Tonight we went to Ethan's back-to-school night at the Intermediate school.
It was such a surreal experience.  The last time I was in school was many years ago in my Master's program.  However, as David and I walked to each of his classes and filed through the halls trying to find the right rooms, I suddenly realized that my little boy was navigating real life--without my help.

He's so young. How does he find his classes? How does he navigate this big school? How does he keep track of the assignments for each class?  I'm still making him meals, helping him wash his clothes, reminding him to practice his piano, and driving him to scouts and soccer.  I'm helping him do basic things each day.  So, how can my little boy who, in my eyes still needs his Mom, also be a responsible, independent student??  The old cliche rings true "My baby is growing up".

Intermediate school seems like a big adjustment from elementary school.  I'm grateful he is taking it all in stride.  I am sure he will be fine.  Actually, I'm sure he will do well.  I'm also sure that this is only the beginning of many, many, transitions ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I hope to have the same inspiration with my children that you have had when parenting Jacob. I really can't believe that Ethan is old enough to be in middle school!