The tears were prickling momentarily but I kept them well under wraps. Mostly I
was proud of Miriam for being so brave and adventurous as she got on
the school bus for the first time bound for her first day of
kindergarten. The morning went well but the afternoon turned out
Caitlin fell asleep shortly before we were supposed to head back out
to the bus stop and was consequently a blubbering limp mess when I
tried to drag her out the door. I wasn't entirely sure of the
scheduled arrival time although I knew school ended at 2:50 and it
would be shortly after that. We hauled ourselves to the bus stop (four
short blocks from home) at 2:59. It was hot and we waited and waited.
I didn't dare leave just in case the busses were late as they were
bound to be on the first day with new kids and new bus routes. About
six busses went by all coming from various directions, but no Miriam.
I did have a hot and cranky three-year-old begging to go home. I
called the school at 3:45pm and finally got through after a few tries.
They said many of the busses were indeed running late but they were
now all in route. They would track Miriam down and give me a call
back. Still not sure if I should leave the bus stop, but reluctantly
headed home in case she had miraculously made it there.
I walked in the door. No reply from Miriam, but the phone rang. The
secretary reported that the bus driver found no parent at the bus stop
and so dropped her off with the staff at Bolton Elementary, a few
I called a cab which
arrived in six minutes and the drive took eight.
I Walked through the school doors and upon hearing Miriam's voice, I
finally lost composure and the tears escaped. So relieved.
Miriam's first responses were, how did you get here, and I'm hungry. I
had no more food except the granola bar that I don't really like.
Miriam and Caitlin had fun talking about their day apart while we
drove back in the cab. Miriam said her favorite parts were the
cafeteria, playdough, a new shapes song she learned, and teather ball
on the playground. Her first impressions were obviously good in spite
of the bus snafu.
I later asked if Miriam thought I would come or if she was scared or
worried. Miriam said, well, I wasn't really sure you would come
because you are blind—A shocking and slightly disconcerting response,
so I asked why. She said because I was far away and I thought you
would have to walk a long way and it might be dark before youd come.
Miriam was fine but I was consumed by the stress of it all and cried
myself to sleep that night. Joe was kind about it. Intellectually I
knew it would all get better as the days go on, but it was so
overwhelmingly stressful up front. I remember how I cried the first
time I tried walking with the double stroller to the YMCA when we
first moved here. Not being able to use a cane while pushing that huge
stroller up the hill by the hospital made me vow to never try again,
but I soon found a better way and it's never been a problem since. I
also realized later what a blessing it was that I had purposely made
myself familiar with cabs in the area so problems like this could be
dsolved. Today I passed that test. Therein lies the victory folks.
Still, I didn't quite escape the first day of kindergarten mom blues
and although the overall day was positive, every perceived problem was
magnified in my mind: Miriam saying she got hungry and also not
getting to have a turn after waiting a long time for the monkey bars,
and then Caitlin jammed her foot in the door while playing. Did I also
mention that I'm eight months pregnant and just the night before
school I had five hours of regular contractions five minutes apart! I
thought I was going into early labor. Luckily not. Too much craziness.
I knew the bus issues would improve tomorrow, but I turned the light
out and sobbed.
Luckily the story didn't end there and day two was indeed smoother.