Isabelle dons her socks and shoes. Next, she puts on her coat, scarf, and hat. Then, she plays with Ari — while bundled up — as I watch for the school bus from the sidelights of our front door.
As soon as her bus rounds the bend of our street, I call, “Your bus is here!”
She stops what she’s doing (if I’m lucky), puts on her backpack, gets a kiss on the head from me, and then heads out the door, down the driveway, and boards the school bus.
But there’s something else happening in the hustle of that moment. Ari stands there, waving, and repeatedly says, “Bye-bye! Bye-bye, Iz! Bye-bye!”
Once Isabelle sits down, she faces us and waves good-bye. This morning, kisses were blown back and forth as the bus pulled away.
Then, Ari stands there — silently staring as the bus pulls away — with the saddest look on his face. It happens daily and it doesn’t get easier to watch.
I remind him, “Izzy will be home this afternoon & you’ll get to play with her.”
I pick him up and hug him. Ari continues to look outside at the space where the bus once stood. He doesn’t cry, but continues to look sad and perplexed since the bus takes his favorite playmate away for the day.