Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Big yellow bus

I should have a different photo here. A photo of Fiona in her shorts and current favourite T-shirt, a neat braid, her smiling face, with school lunch stuff in her bright-coloured backpack, hopping on the school bus. She was cute as a button.

But I didn't bring the camera.

Instead I have this old photo of spawning kokanee salmon spawning at Kokanee Creek near here, because that's where the school bus is headed today with the kindergarten through Grade 4 classes plus three or four homeschooled kids, including Fiona.

The other homeschooled moms went along on the trip. That's not an option for me; I'm the designated driver for the four local teens who need to get to Nelson for their Córazon youth choir rehearsal later. After arriving back at the school, she'll walk to her grandma's house. Then she'll get a ride home and hang out with Sophie until her dad gets home from work. Fiona loved this plan and liked the idea of all this independence; she was quite happy that I wasn't going along.

Happy until the middle of the night, anyway.

She had been looking forward to this since we heard about it a week ago. She'd been counting down the days and complained yesterday that she was having trouble waiting because she was just so excited. Sophie had a sleepover buddy over last night, so Fiona was sleeping in my bedroom. She got to sleep okay but at about 3:30 a.m. she woke up and a bunch of different feelings washed over her. In a lot of ways it was a triple whammy. The trip itself was unknown territory -- the bus ride, the format, the expectations, the destination -- and that was a little disconcerting. It was also like the first day of school for her, with all that nervous excitement -- what will the teacher be like? who will I be with? And thirdly, it was also like being the "new kid at school." (The other homeschoolers had mostly attended the school in the past, so they were returning rather than starting anew.)

She confessed that her happy excitement had turned into worried excitement, and she couldn't get back to sleep.

After a few minutes of cuddling didn't calm the quivering lower lip, we got up together and made some chamomile tea. We sat on the couch and talked and drank our tea and cuddle under a big quilt. We decided that after getting the second half of our sleep, we'd get up, have breakfast and see what kind of excitement she had then. If it was still more worried excitement than happy excitement, she would stay home.

She got back to sleep. I awoke her in the morning. She had breakfast.

"I think the half of my brain that had the worried excitement is sleeping today," she said. And cheerfully headed off and boarded the big yellow bus. I hope she has a great time. I'm pretty sure she will.


  1. I absolutely love the way you interact with your kids. So many people would grunt "go back to sleep"! I hope that Fiona has a marvelous day and enjoys her independence.

  2. Anonymous11:32 pm

    So many people would grunt "go back to sleep"!

    Quite the generalization don't you think??

  3. I love this time with my 7 1/2 year old - so much growing. Growing into a big kid, yet still a lot of little boy. Wanting freedom and independence, but wanting mom. Sweet girl - I bet she has a great time. :)


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