Friday, November 2, 2007

Down the Road

...The glow of the red tail lights against the cool, still-dark morning
...The brightness of the interior lights beckoning all to come within
...Children's excited voices purring
...Parent's nervous small talk
...The hum of the heavy engine

We arrived a half hour early and still found ourselves swallowed up in a huddle of parents, teachers, and excited students, arms heavy with paper lunch sacks, CD players, and water bottles.

The boys and girls, most of whom arose at 4 a.m. due to sheer anticipation are headed off on an adventure. The fourth grade field trip - lasting 13 hours.

For many, it is their first experience riding a charter bus and the excitement is too much to contain, spilling over in ramblings about nothing and everything all at once.
My Jacob is a member of this drone of carefree travelers.
My baby.
Headed down the road, in a very large bus. Without me.

Sometime last month, the conversation went something like this:

"Jacob, do you want me to go with you?" I asked.
"Aww Mom, I am old enough. Please can I go by myself?"
"Well," I say, trying to decide if I thought he was ready, "ok, buddy, I guess you are old enough." I rationalized that although he is only nine, he does very well in school (actually was just invited into the AIG program), has a good relationship with his teachers, and has been showing some maturity around home lately.

So, there I was this morning, standing off to the side with my cup of coffee which had grown cool in the crisp morning air, as my little/big boy climbed aboard with a quick "Bye Mom!"
I watched him clamber to the back of the bus, locate his buddies, plunk his backpack down, and settle in.
As I turned to walk back to the car, I can't be sure, but I believe the sound I heard was apron strings popping. But, I can't be certain of course.

Edited to add: The Boy has returned, safe and sound. And asking for an Ipod.


Family Adventure said...

Awww...this was too sweet! I know it must have been a little hard, but you must be so proud of him, too! He sounds like a well-adjusted, happy boy. I hope he has a terrific fieldtrip :)


blooming desertpea said...

Wow, what a milestone - going on a trip without mom! But tell me - what exactly is a fieldtrip?

niobe said...

How exciting. And a little sad too.

thirtysomething said...

Hi desertpea. A field trip is an outing with the entire class at one's school or preschool. It is usually an educational trip. Jacob went to Winston Salem to tour Old Salem and then on to a science museum for a hands-on exhibit aimed toward his age group.
In our system, the kids usually have one per year, and as they progress through the years, the trips get longer and more involved - often involving overnights and trips to other cities. Fun stuff!

blooming desertpea said...

Thank you, TS, now I know a bit more about your school-system.

Ma said...

I hate the sounds of those apron strings popping. I've been hearing them alot lately with my 7 year old son. His world literally revolved around me and only me for 5 years and he has slowly been realizing the limitedness of that worldview. Makes me sad, but it is fun to watch him grow and begin to make his way in the world.

I'm glad yours returned safe and sound even if he is now wanting an iPod.

InTheFastLane said...

And the sounds of those strings will continue on. Enjoy the journey.

Kellan said...

"As I turned to walk back to the car, I can't be sure, but I believe the sound I heard was apron strings popping. But, I can't be certain of course." - this was a simply perfect line. I loved this post - well done - GOOD! That last edit was cute too! Have a good weekend. See ya.

painted maypole said...

love the line about the apron strings

mitzh said...

It is really hard to let them go on their own...

It pains me, thinking that my daughter will go to school by next year. :(