Friday morning: another chance

6:45 — I got out of the shower and listened. No sign of Charlotte. Didn’t I set her alarm for 6:30? Uh-oh. I opened her door and peeked in. She picked her head up and looked at me. “What? I’m just stretching,” she said. “Did your alarm go off?” “No, I just woke up.” “Hmm. I think it must have because the button is down.” “Ohhh…again?!” “Well, remember how fast you were yesterday? If you do that again you’ll make it because you’re earlier than yesterday.” “Alright!” And she hopped out of bed.

6:55 — I went downstairs and fidgeted. I really want her to make it this time! I tried to think of something to do so wouldn’t hover. Charlotte came down and Fenner and Ellen were finishing breakfast. Then Charlotte started playing with the cats. “Mom!” said Ellen. “We’ll have to leave without her again!” I looked at Ellen. That was a good sign, actually. I was afraid they had only been taking the bus to avoid Charlotte, and that if she tried to walk up with them they would speed up to try and ditch her. It could still happen. I stood there and fretted. Would they ditch her? Would she even make it? She’s still playing with the cats!

7:00 — She finally started making her lunch. Fenner and Ellen put their back packs on. “Ok! We’re leaving! Bye!” Darn. There went the big sister escort. Charlotte stopped again to talk to the cats. “Oh, are you hungry? Here let me get you some food….”

7:05 — Jerry looked at me and whispered, “What time does the bus come?” I whispered back, “Yesterday it came at 7:10.” Hmmm. “Ok, almost done with my lunch … there, now … awwwww, my coat is at Sloane’s! … Oh! Here’s this one! … Hmm, seems pretty warm out. But I think I’ll wear a hat just in case …” At this point it’s all I can do to keep my mouth shut. “Ok, mom, ready!” “Ok, are you all set to walk up by yourself, or do you want me to come?” “I want you to come.” “Ok, we’ll see what happens!”

7:08 — We walked together up the hill. I was pretty sure she hadn’t eaten anything and I had to restrain myself from running back and grabbing a granola bar. When we got to the top of the driveway I heard that low rumbling engine sound coming up the far road. And then over the hill I could just see the yellow roof of the bus headed toward the bus stop which was still 100 yds away. “Charlotte. There’s the bus.” She looked and then ran as fast as she could for about 25 yds. Then she saw it pull away from her. She turned and looked at me. And then hung her head.

I felt her pain all through me and I almost started in with my “oh you poor thing” voice but stopped myself and took a deep breath. “Well!” I said, “Every time you get a little closer!” “This time I wasn’t closer!” she said, close to tears. “Right, but this time you had time to play with the cats, and you still almost made it! … I guess if you see Fenner and Ellen leave, you know it’s time to get going.” “That’s because they’re used to it!!” “Yes, that’s true…what do you think would help?” “If you woke me up and helped me get dressed and helped me make my lunch faster!!” “Mmm…hey you know, there’s a snooze button on your clock. I’ll teach you about that because if you use that when you’re sleepy then the alarm goes off again just a little bit later and makes sure you get up.” “Ok.” “Do you want me to bring you in super early again today? Because here you are all ready again, and I’m not ready again!” She smiled. “And do you know that yesterday you beat Fenner and Ellen to school?” “I did?” “Yes.” “Well that’s because the bus takes so long, and you know what’s weird is that they leave earlier and I leave later, but I still get there before them! … I guess that’s the good thing about missing the bus. … Hey, dad, you know what’s weird?” And then she told him what the good thing is about missing the bus …

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 2: Buttons? What buttons?

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