That's Xander, climbing onto the school bus like it's no big deal. Like he's done this loads of times before. But, no, it was his first time. And he didn't even bat an eye. Even though I'd prepped him for months that when he started school, he'd get to ride the bus with his pseudo-big-brother Nolan (a big 4th grader now) who would take good care of him and then during breakfast this morning, we found out that Nolan was going to be getting a ride to school and would not be Xander's bus buddy today. That made me a bit more apprehensive, but Xander didn't seem to mind at all. We walked over to the bus stop, and when the bus arrived, Xander joined the swarm of kids and climbed aboard without even looking back at me. He was gone before I knew it. I felt a bit weird seeing him leave like that.
After school, when I went to pick him up from the bus stop, he came walking towards me when I was only about halfway there. He had gotten off at an earlier stop, at the park, and just started walking home like he didn't expect me to be there to meet him or anything. Of course he knows the way home from the park; we've walked it TOGETHER hundreds of times. But alone? How old does this kid think he is, huh? I wanted to clarify that I planned on meeting him at the bus stop, so I was asking him if he wanted to get off at the park everyday or at the stop that's a little bit closer to our house so that I could plan on leaving at the right time and going to the right spot. "Oh, no, Mom, you don't have to come and get me. I can just walk home by myself. I'm a really big boy now." Oh you think so, do you? Well I'll be there at the bus stop, even if you don't think you need me! Independent or TOO independent? He's making me wonder!
Xander loved riding the bus. From how he talked about it, it was one of the highlights of the day. I guess as far as kids go, he does a pretty good job of telling me what he did and learned at school, but it is SO weird for me to not really know what he's been doing all day. When I asked what he learned, he said, "I learned TONS of stuff," but when I pressed for details, he said, "I can't remember all of it." Hmmm. I know that he got to go to Music today, which he liked, but not as much as he loved gym yesterday (it was his favorite part of the day yesterday). That he played with a friend from Church at recess. That the bought lunches smell better than his packed lunch and when can he buy his lunch? That Mrs. Parker sings the days of the week song differently than we do at home and can we start singing it her way? That she read him a book about Dos and Don'ts that was really funny because it says stuff like "Don't wear underwear on your head" and "don't make other people smell it." That sometimes Mrs. Parker lets them lie down while she's reading them a story. That he missed me a little bit at school today, but he didn't cry about it like a little girl in his class did. That the kid from his class who sat next to him at lunch today is named Aaron just like dad. That he wanted to draw a picture of Nolan before the end of school, but he didn't get a chance. That he's learning classroom procedures quite effectively. (He raised his hand at dinner today to make a comment, and it's only the second day!) Pretty good details, huh? So why do I still feel like I really don't know what's going on in that classroom of his all day?
And I'm learning some things, too. For one, not to tell Xander that he can finish building his Lego helicopter in the morning if he wakes up early enough. It seemed like an innocent thing to say when he was crushed about putting his Legos away at bedtime last night. (This all day school thing is really cutting into his playtime. Only 10 minutes of bike riding and barely time to get your helicopter halfway built? Sheesh.) But when I was hopping into the shower at around 7:00 this morning, Xander knocked on the door to show me that he'd finished his helicopter. How early DID he wake up to get that finished by then? Who knows. But when I got out of the shower and saw him lying grumpily on Elodie's floor, I knew it was too early. "Why did you wake up if you were still tired, Xander?" His reply was so innocent and sweet: "because you said that if I woke up early enough, I could finish building my Lego helicopter." Note to self: watch what you say because he is listening!