Pictures are from Maxwell's First Day of Kindergarten
For the last two days I have been questioning if I am fit to be a mother, but I have since talked myself down from the ledge. All this paranoia stems from my lack of paranoia. Let me explain. Those of you who know me well know that I am a very laid back mother. All of the potential dangers that my children face do not naturally come to my mind, rather I have a more "Pollyanna" approach, thinking that only good things will happen to my children. Maxwell started kindergarten on Monday, and this is where my story starts. I sent him off to school on the bus, yes on the first day, because he insisted. I assumed he would ride the same bus home from school, so I made sure he knew his bus number and I wrote it on a card attached to his backpack, but I assumed wrong. He was supposed to ride a different bus home. After the driver was done with his route he realized there was still one child left on the bus, so he headed back to the school. In the meantime, I was trying to track my child down. 90 minutes after school ended, the bus dispatcher finally found my child. The bus driver was kind enough to drive Max to our home, and he arrived home safe and sound, with a big smile on his face because he just got to ride on a bus for an hour and a half. One would think that I would have been frantic, because all you mothers reading this are probably having the beginnings of an anxiety attack right now, but I was not worried at all. I knew that if he was on the wrong bus he would be taken back to the school, and I would be able to come and pick him up. I also knew that Max loves buses, and does not have many fears, so I figured he would be handling the situation magnificently. I was correct on all those accounts, however, after discussing this with many other moms, I started to wonder if I should have been more worried. I started to wonder if I am not just an abnormal mother, but an unfit mother. If you care to continue reading, the story continues. On the second day of kindergarten, I tried unsuccessfully to reach the bus company, and their website was down, which means I could not find the right bus for Max to ride home. So, I decided to pick him up myself. When I reached the school, I saw lots of moms standing around the bus area. After talking to several that I knew, I discovered that many moms come to the school the first few days or weeks to make sure their child gets on the right bus. It had never even occurred to me to do this. It had never even occurred to me that there would be any kind of problems associated with getting on the right bus, other then your mom telling you the wrong bus number! Again I began to question my fitness to be a mother. After waiting about 15 minutes for Max to come out of the school, I decided to check on the buses, which was a good move. He was back on the wrong bus. The bus driver told me that he was just going to take him home again after his route was completed! I got Max off the bus, but he insisted on finding the bus he should be on, rather than just drive home with me. So I poked my head into each bus, trying to find our 4th grade neighbor. I found her and the bus problem has officially been solved. Is it okay to not think about all the "what-ifs" as a mother, or is that my responsibility in order to keep my child safe? I have come to the conclusion that somewhere in the middle is probably best, and for a happier, more stree-free life, lean to the "Pollyanna" approach. I think I need to be a bit more attentive to the safety of my children, but I also feel that if they make it to adulthood they will be very well-adjusted and confident! Already Maxwell has had more experience finding the right bus than many 4th graders, so there's one more notch on his self-reliance belt! One more thing...when your child starts kindergarten, ask if they are supposed to bring snacks. At Paramount Elementary they are. Sadly I discovered this 2 days late! When I apologized to Maxwell he said, "it's okay Mommy, I wasn't very hungry."