A Mother’s Prayer

BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER
Columbia County, New York I Monday, 30 September 2019

For the past few years, the school bus has picked Thing 2 up at the end of our driveway, and I can see him, as he waits, from the window in the front bedroom, upstairs.

How I love to watch him waiting for the bus. Standing there, at the end of the driveway, tall and thin, wearing his skinny black jeans. He will usually turn around and wave to me. Sometimes he’ll do a little dance, listening to music through his headphones, from his tablet, and this brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

I always hope it isn’t raining or snowing, too cold or too dark, out there at the bus stop. The child will not wear his winter jacket, even in the depths of December, opting for his fleece-lined sweatshirt, instead. I’m so relieved when November rolls around, and we set our clocks back an hour, so he’s not standing out there in the dark.

I always wait and watch until I see him get on the bus. I can hear the bus coming a few seconds before I see it. It pulls up, and the tall thin doors swing open. He jauntily hops up the steep stairs and heads towards the back of the bus. After all, he’s a big kid now. Sometimes, I can even see him sit down, always on the side closest to the house. Sometimes I can see his hand at his window, waving to me.

Then, I watch as his golden chariot rolls out of sight, past the pine trees and down our old country road. And every morning, as the bus slides away, I say a mother’s prayer.

“I love you, sweet child. Return to me safely.”

If the weather is snowy or rainy or foggy, I also say an extra little prayer for the bus driver, too, to drive in safety. The roads around here are twisting and turning, and deer are everywhere…

What an honor and a privilege it is to be Thing 2’s mother. And how happy I feel, with such a simple thing, being able to watch my child get on the school bus each and every morning.