Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Yellow Bus

The dress Beth wore at her second birthday party was only a size 18 months. That made it all the more difficult to send her off to school just a few weeks later. She was so small compared to that big, yellow school bus! That first morning was harder than we expected. I dressed her in a pale pink dress and she 'helped' us fill her bag with all the things she might need away from home; change of clothes, a snack. As we stood at the curb, Chuck and I watched this tiny person as she nervously waited for the bus. I was picking her up to get one more hug when that bus came around the corner. I could barely hold her as she wiggled with excitement! When those double doors popped open, I put her on the top step and the bus driver helped her into the big, leather seat. Her face barely showed over the bottom of the window and we could tell she was straining her neck to see us as the bus pulled away. We smiled bravely! And we waved! And the tears began to flow.... and all too soon, the bus was out of sight.

Beth started riding the bus to school when she was only two years old. She had been working with a physical therapist in our home almost from birth. When she turned two they knew she would receive more stimulation in a classroom setting. In the world of special needs, you attend the school where the special ed teachers are. So every morning, Beth climbed aboard a school bus that took her to Sevick School a few miles from our home. Throughout her academic career, she attended more than 8 different schools.

We were so grateful that she attended Edmonds-Woodway her last three years of high school and got to graduate with her class, the Class of 2004. She told us that the best part was wearing her cap and gown! Just as they had 21 years earlier, the tears stung my face but this time with memories and joy I couldn't possibly describe!

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