One of my favorite things to do, can you freaking believe, is going to school. Gooly's. The near distance probably makes the task less undesirable. I know some moms who literally have to walk across a football field or brave the horrendous traffic to ferry those lucky children. Thus the cussing of this ferrying chore for them.
Yes, I admit, to start the mechanical engine of my butt to get out of the house is often difficult (with silent malediction). But once I reach the school, my heart is quite fluffy with sunshiny feeling. I remember having to park the car, hold his hand, say goodbye a million times at the start of the school year. Then gradually, his independence grow. He would just get down on his own, very often looking a little bit clammy, back his shoulder to make sure I am still there giving him a last wave.
Now, he gets off, sometimes forgetting to say goodbye (till I have to honk to get a wave), and often being greeted by loud chorus of his name made by his friends. They drag the bags along side by side, always laughing, probably at some silly jokes like, "Your mom is so fat that I..."
I love watching him walking into school, all gown up..and most importantly, happy. I keep smiling and waving even though it is a little bit of bereavement that we will be separated 6 hours a day, unlike those days when we were joined at the hip 24/7.
I have my smile fixed too during after school pick ups. When the bell rings, the students always give a big shout, feeling jubilant, running away free from the "prison". Many times, I see the clumsy ones fall only to pick themselves up with a grin. I see happy faces. I see dirty ones (often belonging to boys). I see pretty girls with ponytails (and I imagine what it would be like for lolly).
I see Mandeel, the only non Chinese girl in Goolys class. She always greets me, either with a smile or a shy, "hello, auntie." Oh hi, dear child... I hope you are coping well. It's difficult to learn a whole new language, eh? Hang in there. It gets easier - I say these words but only with my own smile.
And then I see him.
Beaming, always happy to see me. In his hand, there is always something that he'd like to show me - stickers from friends, little notes, or a star from the teacher.
"How was school?" - the preamble to our after school conversation.
"Fine!" and we walk, hand in hand, sometimes crossing over to the ice cream man for a cone.
Along the way, there is always someone calling out his name (strangely that they are mainly girls) to say good bye.
I have a feeling my son is quite popular in school*.
* he probably tells the best "your momma so fat" jokes.