Tuesday, November 11, 2008
My boys leave early for school. Their bus comes to pick them up at 7.30. There are two snack and lunch boxes to be packed for each child and mornings are crazy. I set the alarm at an unearthly hour and get up 30 minutes after the sound has literally alarmed me. The first half an hour goes in very uncharitable thoughts towards the whole schooling system which has been heartless enough to disregard my sleep when they set their time. This is accompanied by a good clanking of the tea pot and the pans, which incidentally serves as an alarm for my neighbor and a few sleeping birds. Then i say hello to the first waking bird i hear.
What is that you say? You wonder why the hustle bustle when i can get up a little earlier? What? And miss out the drama and excitement in my life? Never!!
Nevertheless, after a good exercise of the vocal system and the limbs, running to and fro getting a petulant 6 yr old to eat something, the 11 yr old to stop dreaming in the shower, we do manage to tumble out of the house. In one piece.
G in spite of contributing to the chaos, does help in many ways. Sometimes he also gets this insane urge to click a photograph of the kids just when they are leaving. How i react is best left unsaid.
After checking if they've worn the right shoes, the bags on their shoulders and the smile on their faces, its time to get into the elevator. That's when the kids scream "I'll be back soon" or a chirpy "see you later, alligator" to G, hug him and rush in. (This stems from a little something we've been taught since childhood. Never to say that we are going but always that we will be back soon. ) sometimes sleepy, at times sprightly but always loud...we never compromise on the decibel level.
Sometimes we are early and we chat or play little games to spend the time. Everyday the bus enters the condo at 7.25 sharp. They get in, find their seats, buckle themselves up. I wave till the bus goes out of sight. I can see the little face pressed to the pane, making funny faces. The 11 yr old looks back, half waving, when the bus finally turns. Sometimes it takes a U-turn and makes an appearance on the opposite end of the road too. I'm still there, waving when i see them. With a prayer in my heart and wishing they have a great day.
It brings back memories of early goodbyes when I used to drop them to school in Delhi. I would still wait till the last strand of hair disappeared from my view. Sometimes the little imps would bounce back and find me still there. with a silly smile on my face
The boys recently told me that IF i wanted, i could stay at home while they waited for the bus. That is when i told them that i'm doing it more for myself. That my day starts well when i get to say bye to them. That if it wasn't for the fact that G has a train to catch, he too would have been here with them. (they love it too when he manages to wait with them). That on the rare occasions that I cannot make it, I feel miserable.
And unknowingly like most things, it has become a habit. For them. The waiting. The jokes. The smiles. The funny faces. The good byes. I think they've begun to need it too. Because they look out for me now, even when they are on the opposite end of the road.
Most times, good byes make me sad. There are a few good byes you never ever want to say. But sometimes, there can be a 'good' in the 'bye'.
I love the sameness of this routine. It tells me that all is well in my world. This is one moment where i don't mind saying bye.
Because the good bye has become such an integral moment of my day.
Because there would come a time when it may not be feasible.
Because time stands still, long enough for me to enjoy the moment for what it is.
it gives me a gentle nudge to rush back because i need to say bye to G too. :)