by Jennifer Dyer
After Rachel took her first special ed field trip on the school bus, she was hooked. I don’t think she cared about the rest of the adventure that went along with riding the bus. She only wanted the bus.
For days after the Bus Experience, she wanted to wear the same dress and pack a sack lunch (the routine for field trips). She was hoping if she recreated the other parts of the event, the bus would come back.
This year as school started, Rachel started her bus campaign. If elections could be won by repeating the same word repeatedly, Rachel would be Grand Empress of the Universe.
“Buh,” she would say, pointing to the above picture of her on her iPad.
“Yes,” I would reply. “You want to ride the bus.”
But I didn’t want her to ride the bus! I like taking her to school. I get to see her teachers face-to-face and hold her hand as we walk in the doors. The times I’ve been too ill to take Rachel to school leave me feeling like a dried-out tree … useless and pointless.
However, I have to see things from Rachel’s point of view, don’t I? As difficult as it seems, my job as a mother is to guide my children toward independence, not hold onto them. Riding the bus for Rachel would be another step toward growing up.
It’s scary, though. She has the verbal skills of an 18 month old. I don’t want to let her out of my sight. The school assures me they have cameras and two adults on the buses and the drivers are kind to the children. Momma bear is still not convinced.
But it’s not about me. So, for Rachel, perhaps I will be brave and give her the gift of more independence.
Wow… Motherhood is not for wimps.