August 24, 2011

missing the bus

This morning, had we still been living in Virginia, Evelyn would have stepped on the bus with her big brother for the first day of school, after watching and waiting and wanting to go for four years.
I'm not sorry that we came to New York. I realize that Evie will love Kindergarten here just as much as she would have there, because it's kindergarten, and it's fun. But even still, my heart hurts a little over the thought of missing that bus.
Life is often not what you planned, is it? A year ago I was promising my girl that next time, next first day of school, she would get to hop on the bus too. Six months ago I still thought the same, and yet, here I am today, sitting in an entirely different city with a little girl who will still start kindergarten soon, only now, without her brother in a classroom upstairs to guide her, without the teachers already knowing who she is, because she's been at all those PTO functions, class meetings ad teacher conferences with us.
A year in New York is worth missing that, it is. And tomorrow I probably won't think about the fact that she is not getting on the bus with him, because tomorrow we have other adventures planned. Because the reality is that it is the image of the situation, the idea of it, my two kids, heading off to school together, that I'm so enamoured with. But instead, my kids get to hold hands walking through the Met together, or they get to walk through a crowd of Drag Queens in the East Village post earthquake (we were on the subway and didn't feel it but enjoyed the crowds of evacuated Village People when we climbed up the stairs a few minutes later). They get the zoo and the parks and the buildings and Grey's Papaya Hot Dogs and a load of other things, which are better than riding the bus together to school. I'm sure if I asked they would agree, but, somehow, I can't bring myself to ask them. Just in case asking reminds them of that small thing they are missing out on.