September is once again upon us. I’m not sure how it snuck up so quickly. I can’t exactly recall how the lazy amble of July rolled into August and the summer slipped by; but it did.
Now the days of playing outside in various states of dress/undress have been replaced with my stern reprimands of, “Yes you must put on both a top and a bottom. People are going to see you.”
‘Mornings’ of eating breakfast at what would be much closer to lunch, have been exchanged with eating at a time they used to be asleep and needing a lunch that can be transported in a backpack. (I have heard in my ‘Mom circles’ that sending a can of Alphagetti’s with a can opener is frowned upon.) (But seriously, who has ever even been tempted to do that?!)
My kids have been back in school for a week and I have no pictures to prove it. Because the calendar still said August; I just couldn’t. As per last September’s post, I Have Kids, They Go to School, you will just have to trust me on this one.
But something has changed this year. Last year I just had kids that went to school. This year, I have kids who ride a bus. Some of you are familiar with this magical orange mechanical device that transports your children from place of residence to place of learning. If you are one of those Moms to whom this ‘bus’ thing is almost mundane, perhaps ordinary, take a moment to glimpse life from the other side.
From September through June, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of moms, (could it be millions?!) load their little darlings into the family vehicle to transport them to school. These unsung heroes marshal their troops with the courage of a five-star general. Backpacks? Check. Lunches? Check. Water bottles? Check.
Sound-off as you buckle your seatbelt.
And guys, this is a big deal – harder than it may sound. Because while Mom is the general, it often feels like her troops are fighting for the resistance. At least one is always MIA, and there are some who behave like POWs. A search party has to be sent out to locate and extract before the transport can depart. Once located, do you send the reluctant POW with only one shoe, or do you adjust the schedule to find the second? Decisions like these need to be made in the heat of the battle; you don’t have time to second guess. The school bell sounds when it will sound, and it waits for no one.
Stage one of the battle is executed. Troops are locked and loaded, the engine is started, transport is underway. Our brave and tireless General distributes rations (and there is never enough) while fighting traffic and racing against the always threatening warning bell. At last she arrives at her destination. The doors slide open as children and garbage spill out.
Our fearless leader turns to head home. Surrounded by eerie silence and evidence of the battle. Evidence that very likely hides a water bottle, a lunch kit, a back pack, or a shoe. (Yes, shoe, not shoes. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I just know it to be true.) And as brave Mom surveys the battlefield through her rear-view mirror, she knows that in less than six hours she will engage again.
That, my familiar with a certain orange mechanical piece of magic friend, is life from the other side.
But this year I am one of you. This year, I have kids who ride a bus. Every morning a kind, though slightly frazzled looking lady, pulls up in a bus, opens the door and Lets. My. Children. In. I share a nod of solidarity and a closed fist heart thump with her as the doors slide closed. Every afternoon, these same doors open, and my children walk off of this bus. They have been to school and back.
This lady, who shall remain nameless, has gone to war on my behalf.
Because sometimes the battle is too big and you need someone to fight in your place. And that’s okay.