She crawled out of bed, groggy and crabby, and immediately launched into a litany of complaints. “I’m too tired” – “The light is too bright” – “I have growing pains.” She engaged in an argument over which brand of cereal she had chosen at the store yesterday, even after the first bite or two of said cereal. She got lost somewhere between the hair-brushing and the coat-donning portions of the morning, and as a result got left in the stairwell while her younger brother and I started the daily 6:40 trudge toward the bus stop at the end of the street.
It was not an auspicious start to the day. All signs pointed to a likelihood that I would gladly shove her onto the first vehicle that slowed down, be that a high school bus, her elementary school bus, a college shuttle, a Pedophiles-R-Us van, whatever. Something driving away.
And then, from the front yard, I remembered that she needed her trumpet for music lessons today. And so I scurried back, passing her on the stairs. I explained I was going to grab her trumpet, and asked her to go on ahead and walk with her brother; I would catch up with them soon.
In one of those moments where I really wish I carried a camera all the time, I came back down the stairs, turned down the sidewalk, and watched my kids – now three or four houses away – walk toward the bus stop hand in hand. Not in a big-sister-grabby-bossy sort of way, just holding hands and heading to school.
And then, when they got on the bus, she followed him on and – just because she chose to, because she wanted to, not because I had asked or because she knew I was watching – she sat with him for the ride.
Guess she has redeemed herself for another day.