Today was the first day of school.
We were awoken at 5 AM by William, who had a really, really itchy mosquito bite that required hydrocortisone and his mother to obtain the hydrocortisone for him. He was then unable to go back to sleep because he was afraid he was going to miss the bus. Carolyn and Elizabeth were up next. I think it was around 5:15, but I can't be sure because my eyes wouldn't completely open. Not even on Christmas morning are our children up as early as they were today. I tried to convince them that their bus driver wasn't even awake yet - but they wouldn't listen. And so it came to be we were at the bus stop approximately 30 minutes before the bus even arrived.
I don't think I wrote about our awesome bus driver last year ... but he really is one in a million. Mr. Yani, our amazing immigrant bus driver from Greece, would wait at the top of our hill - every single morning - for our often delinquent family to arrive. Even though our bus pick up each morning is at 7:50 AM, Mr. Yani would put his huge yellow bus in park and wait for us until 8:00 every day - - snow or rain or shine. We'd promise him that the next morning we'd be on time and we'd try, but very rarely could we actually do it. He always shrugged if off as no problem, because we're the last pickup on the way to school and even though he waits for us, he still manages to arrive at school with five minutes to spare. One day he told me, "My mother had a lot of children and it was crazy." Then he looked over the edge of his glasses and said, "Crazy but beautiful! Ya?!"
It was because of his graciousness that we only had 12 tardy days last year as opposed to 112. I feel so irresponsible writing that, but I'm honestly not sure what happens around here in the morning? Even on those days when I wake up extra early and am ready to leave the house on time, my children are caught in some kind of time warp and the next thing you know, it's 7:54:58 and I'm in panic mode because SERIOUSLY? HOW CAN WE BE LATE AGAIN?! Sometimes I really think they do it on purpose just to see me lose my mind.
When Elizabeth broke her arm, Mr. Yani brought her a stuffed monkey that was as big as she is. And when he would drop the kids off in the afternoon, if Charlie and I were not standing at the bus stop waiting to receive the kids - he wouldn't let them off the bus. By all accounts, we live in a very safe neighborhood, but on at least two occasions, Mr. Yani put his huge yellow bus in park and waited for the two minutes it took us to arrive because, "You never know what kind of crazies are around and I don't want to let these little ones out of my sight if you're not here. Ya?!"
Imagine my delight when I saw this morning that we have Mr. Yani as our bus driver again this year.
And imagine his delight when he saw that we were all there, on time, waiting for him.
I'm hopeful that this is the beginning of a new tradition.