When I was a kid, my siblings and I stood beneath an enormous oak tree at the bottom of the driveway and waited for the bus. Our parents had long since left for work, and a key was tied around my neck so that we could get back inside after school.
We were young. I was taking care of my brother and sister before and after school by the time I was in third grade. Maybe earlier.
My brother would lay down in the middle of the road with his ear to the pavement and claim that he could hear the bus coming.
Acorns would pelt us from above.
Cars would fly by at 50 miles per hour and more.
We stood at the bottom of that gravel driveway regardless of precipitation or temperature.
It wasn’t my favorite part of childhood, but I remember those times at the bus stop with a certain degree of fondness. As we grew older, it was rare for the three of us to be together, alone, pointed in the same direction, hoping for the same result. It was a means of regrouping for us. A reminder that we were about to embark on our individual lives again, but at the end of the day, we would be standing here again, regardless of the result.
Now my daughter waits for the school bus. Like me, she also waits with her sibling, though he does not go to school yet. He watches (often still in his pajamas) with a touch of sadness as his sister climbs aboard the bus each day.
My sister recalls feeling the same way when I would leave for kindergarten every morning. She and my brother would look out the picture window and dream of a day when they could climb aboard the bus with me.
I may look fondly upon my days at the bus stop, but they were nothing like the photos my wife has been sending me from my daughter’s first few days waiting for the school bus.
This is ridiculous. This makes me envious beyond imagination.