Thursday, January 26, 2006
Do you remember?
I let my little boy ride in the back of the car yesterday. Just a few blocks down a quiet side street to his friends house. Oh the joy he felt. Do you remember that feeling? Looking out the back window of the family car, watching the world roll by in reverse?
When I was very small, I was the last child to be dropped off of the school bus. One day I was crying. I don't remember the details, but I know that the bigger kids had been cruel. The driver stopped the bus and moved me to the front seat. I was terribly embarrassed. It seemed that putting up with any amount of teasing would have been a much better fate.
After the bullies got off the bus, the bus driver lady called me up to her. She showed me the "cockpit" and let me sit in her seat and steer the wheel. I asked if I could sit on the bottom step by the door. She said yes. I put my forehead against the glass and looked down at the glittering asphalt streaming by. It was magical. Mrs. Tinkerby let me do that every day for the rest of the year, but only after all the other kids had gotten off the bus. It was our secret!
I looked back at my son through the rear view mirror, and saw the way he hitched his elbow on the window, like a free man, with the world in his pocket.
Yeah, I remember how that felt.