I have probably earned myself a spot in the Mom Hall of Shame for this, but I drive my kids to the bus stop every morning. I have done this since they each started taking the bus to the middle school and stopped going to the neighborhood elementary. Now, even though the two older girls drive themselves to the high school, I still take the youngest to the stop.
I probably should have made them walk the few blocks to the bus stop, just to not seem the pushover mom, but I have never thought of it as a chore. I have always offered; the kids didn’t ask me to. It gives us a common goal, I have a bit of leverage in getting them out the door, and I know they have made the bus in time, as our bus pick up time seems to vary.
It’s still quite dark most mornings when the bus is due to come, so I tell myself it’s for safety reasons that I do it. To be honest, though, I do it as much for me as for them. We get out the door in a rush of backpacks and coats draped over shoulders, hurry to the bus stop in case it’s a substitute driver and they are early, and then I give my daughter the luxury of sitting in the warm car at the corner until we spy the bus. We get a few minutes to talk. Sometimes it’s about nothing, sometimes just about our complicated schedule, sometimes it gives her a chance to sit in the dark and tell me something she needs to get off her chest. Some days we just sit quietly, letting the seat warmers do their jobs, being cozy and comfortable.
When the bus shows up, she hops out of the car and closes the door. Most kids would rush to the bus to get their preferred spot. My girl never forgets to pause outside the window of the car and give me our special signal, even though it’s become abbreviated so that it’s not noticible to her friends. She touches her fingers to her lips in a kiss, briefly crosses her arms across her chest in an “air hug”, and gives me a tiny wave.
I wait for the bus to load and depart, then drive home the few blocks to our house, warmth in my heart. Yeah, I do it for me.