Ben's First Day of School: The Send Off

I put him on the wrong bus. Yes, I sent my sweet little five-year-old off on his first day of school on the wrong bus. But, let's "back the bus up" a little before I get into that.

I woke him up nice and early and sat him down for breakfast. He wanted a ham and mustard roll, and I talked him into having milk and some toast too. Then I helped him pick out his clothes. He picked his shark shirt to wear, mostly because I hid his new Transformers shirt. He can wear that next day. He's wearing sandals to school with socks, because I think bare feet at school (even if it's just walking from the shoe rack to his inside shoes in the classroom) is unsanitary. He got dressed and came upstairs to go to the bathroom so I could help him comb his hair.

His socks were pulled up as high as they could go. My sweet nerdy little man in his shorts and socks and sandals. Sigh. I encouraged him to skoink them down a little, which he was not impressed with at first because it felt funny, but by the time we left for the bus he'd forgotten all about his socks. I wanted to leave nice and early so I could film a little "before school interview" at the bus stop, so we headed downstairs to say goodbye to Daddy. Big hugs, and we're off.

Only... Why is the bus already here? It's not even 8:30 and it's only supposed to be here at 8:36? Maybe because it's the first day? Maybe they need more time? Maybe I read the schedule wrong? "Run Benny!"

So we ran to catch the wrong bus. I took a picture of him in front of it and sent him off. I could barely see the top of his little blond head in the window. He's so small. My heart broke a little and I cried a bit as I walked back to the house.
Then I started thinking, why was the bus here so early? Did I put him on the wrong bus? So I waited in the driveway, and sure enough, a few minutes later another school bus drove right by our house. I caught it it and asked the bus driver, "What school does this bus go to???" Ben's school.

Panic. More tears. The bus driver calling me dear. Me driving frantically to the public school, which is thankfully attached to the Catholic school Ben is going to. I manage to make myself stop crying in time to help Ben off the wrong bus and take him to his classroom, thinking the stress is over, now for the fun.

Not so much. The teacher is too busy with all the parents who couldn't be bothered to go to the Kindergarten orientation night that the rest of us went to. She doesn't even greet Ben. Just hands me a name tag for him and is off again with the slacker parents, bringing them up to speed. Becky is not happy, but tries to stay perky for Ben who is now sitting alone at a table (where he's been told to sit) trying to figure out a puzzle and starting to cry because he can't.

Oh help. He's doing that face that he does only when he's really upset but trying not to be. He's so little and my heart is breaking for him and his teacher barely has any time to listen to me ask her to call me if he needs me at lunch, and tell her that he's already crying a little so please... ???

She says he'll be fine.

I help him with his puzzle a little and take a few pictures. I hug my sweet baby boy goodbye and tell him to have lots of fun on his first day of school!!! And then I leave him there with someone who barely noticed him come in the door.

My precious little treasure.


  1. Oh Becky! That is such a sad story! I sure hope he had fun when you left!

  2. I HATE the parents who can't be bothered to go to the events provided for them so they can know what's going on! Hate them! And I don't hate much. But for crying out's your kid. Find out what they need, what to do, where to go and what's involved ahead of time. When I worked in the schools it made me crazy and it still makes me crazy. The other kids and the teachers and parents all suffer from uninvolved parents. Parents who can't wait for their kids to go to school, so someone else can be responsible for them all day. It's just plain sad.
    ok...done ranting.
    In other news...
    I hope the rest of the day goes well for him.

  3. OH BECKY!!! That sounds horrible. I hope his day, (and yours) made a turn for the better. Oh dear...

  4. Oh, that's not the way you want to start your first child's first day of kindergarten. I hope you both calmed down and that his day will have been good in the end.

    It'll make for a great story in the future though. (Remember Madeline's school bus story from her first day of school?! Classic. Horrifying. But definitely classic.)

    Take care, Becky. One of these days we'll be eating appetizers and talking about motherhood together. Sound good?

  5. Ohhhh Becky! That is sad! I nearly cried, poor little guy! I can't even imagine how hard it must have been. I know that when I have kids and I have to send them to their first day of school, I'm gonna bawl.

  6. I am crying...please hug him for me tonight.


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