18 May 2009

To Be Needed Again

For a whole year, when Josh was in K1 last year, I would ride the school bus with him to school, hang around in Stanley with my other mommy friends, and then go back to school to pick him up and ride back home on the school bus with him. He was three years old (heck, he was only 31 months when he started K1!) and neither Chris nor I could bear the thought of his 3-year old self alone on the bus, even though there's a "bus mother" on board who would help look after all the unaccompanied children. (I hadn't yet gotten a Hong Kong driver's license then.)

Then this school year, when he started K2, he told me the night before school started that he would go on the school bus "all by myself, because I'm in K2 now." I had to convince him to let me go to school with him, at least on the first day. He grudgingly agreed, but got me to promise that he would go by himself the next day. I tried to bargain for a few more days. He suggested that I should just follow his school bus in my car all the way to school instead. (I didn't know whether to cry or to hug him. I think I did both.)

So I saw him off when the school bus came by to pick him up. Waved bye-bye, started to tear up. I couldn't help myself; I rushed to our car park, got in the car, and pretty much tailed his school bus all the way. I saw him queuing up with the other children as they got off the bus and headed into school. I hid behind a counter and watched as he changed into his "school shoes" and put his other pair in his cubby, before heading toward his classroom, bringing along his water bottle and his handbook. I can't even begin to tell you the emotions going through me that day. I felt proud of my boy's independence. I was a bit sad that I had to let go so soon. Couldn't he tell that I needed him to still need me a bit longer? I was relieved that I have my mornings back. I felt guilty for feeling relieved. I felt some sort of defiant embarrassment at having just done what I did --so what if I finally lived out my "follow-that-car" fantasy?

So. After all that drama last September, Josh has been going on the school bus by himself every day. On the odd days when I had errands to run around Stanley and on Fridays when I'd take Zoë to her Socatots class, I'd drive him to school myself. He made sure to remind me that he wanted to ride the school bus home after school, though. Later I found out that it's because his school bus driver would give him goodies (biscuits, crackers, little trinkets, and yes, the occasional 'sweet thing').

Imagine my surprise when he announced that he wanted me to drive him to school this morning. I told him that I'd drive him on Friday, drop him off before taking Zoë to her Socatots class. He then said that he wants me to do it more often, because "otherwise, I don't get to chat with you." Huh? Where did that come from? I still drive him to his swimming lessons and Socatots class and we chat plenty along the way. We chat plenty at home. A lot, I might even say, considering how he literally doesn't stop talking until he's finally asleep.

I kept thinking about this, but couldn't come up with any reason for his sudden imperative. Regardless, I'm honored. Honored that my presence has been requested. By none other than Mr. Independent himself. Happy to be needed again. For however long this might last.


LPC said...

He might just be checking. As in, just in case I needed my Mom, would she be there?

Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

Cherish and treasure those moments. But I'm sure, Josh will be older and he'll still want to hang-out and be with you.

Have a great week!

Leslie said...

awwwwwww that is a very special time with your sweet boy!!!!


a Tonggu Momma said...

Somehow I doubt I'll ever hear that from the Tongginator, but - if I do - my heart shall melt in exactly the same way. Glad you are "needed" again.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Even if it lasts for just a moment, at least you know that you are still needed. There's a certain amount of independence yet, boys still try to check to see if mommy is there if needed.

How cute you are to follow the bus. I think I would've done the same thing.

Helene said...

Awwww, that is the sweetest thing ever!!!!! I love that he misses talking to you as often as he used to!!

My 4-yr olds who started pre-K this last year went on their first official school field trip back in October and I wasn't able to ride on the bus with them b/c I hadn't had my fingerprints cleared yet. So I followed the bus and I was practically in tears the whole way! I do think it's harder for us moms, sometimes, when our babies grow up!

Anonymous said...

How endearing! I makes me so nervous to think of how different my son will be in 2 years. They grow up so fast. Too fast!

I am stopping by to give you a big welcome to the SITStahood. Glad you joined us and we look forward to seeing you around!

Joanie @ The Bright Side said...

Isn't parenthood the best? A bit of a rollercoaster ride at times...but it is all good. It never ceases to amaze me how strong some of those emotions regarding our kids can be. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer said...

*L* It's always nice to be needed! ;-)

My LO is starting to do that thing where, when I'm holding him, he squirms till I let him down so he can do his own thing. My heart hurts just thinking about it. It's nice to know that there's hope he'll want his mommy again. Even if it's just for good conversation. ;-)

Veronica Lee said...

They always grow up too fast.

Lindy said...

how sweet!

Em said...

Ohhh sweet boy! Our school is too close for bus transport, but too far for a walk, so I get to drive my kindergartner out of default.

And love every second. He would rather be on the bus :-)

Cutting those apron strings as fast as they can. Enjoy the "chats" while you can.

Welcome to SiTS!! Em

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