After six months of taking my daughter to the bus stop in the morning to go to kindergarten, the days when she cried and didn’t want to go are long over. Those first couple of week mommy cried too, sad to see her baby upset and conflicted as to whether sending a three-and-a-half year old alone on a bus to kindergarten was such a good idea. Now, she’s so excited to take the bus, she barely even remembers to wave good-bye to me.
When we decided to enroll our daughter in the French International School of Beijing for kindergarten, it was not without a lot of consideration of many diverse factors. Being Canadian, the French language was certainly a plus, but besides many other considerations (learning resources, air quality control, distance, price, educational model etc.), their transport system that included a bus stop right outside our apartment complex was a definite bonus.
Every morning, a giant bus arrives with “a pretty flower” on it, as per my daughter’s description, and each bus has two employees (besides the driver) who are responsible for the kids. They are very conscientious. For little ones like mine, they get out at every stop and physically help them board, even separately carrying their backpacks for them if necessary.
When the bus arrives in the afternoon to drop her off, those same employees are there. You can tell that one of my daughter’s favourite moments is being lifted out and down to her mommy. She positively bursts with smiles at the top of those bus stairs and, though I know intellectually the excitement’s about the “ride” from the bus to the ground, I let my heart feel that it’s all about seeing mommy after a day away at kindergarten.
And that makes up for no wave goodbye in the mornings—every time.
Photos: Courtesy of Ember Swift