This week, as a bi-product of flailing my arms wildly at the corner when I was a minute late, I was unceremoniously relieved of my duties as bus-stop dropper offer and picker upper. Fired. I felt like I'd just gotten dumped by my sure-thing for the prom. "What do you mean?" I asked. "You can't be serious!"
For the last 5 years, the bus stop times: 7:07 in the morning and 2:23 in the afternoon have been as hard and fast as the 10 commandments handed down to Moses at Mount Sinai. Thou shalt deliver and pick up thy son from thy bus stop. Never once did we miss the bus even if it meant me screeching into our driveway and sprinting around the corner to that one holy square patch of grass unto which I delivered and re-accepted my only begotten son every day of his elementary school life of which he has missed only a very few.
The tides and my own cycles are no more regular than this. In fact, I think they are connected. And now I'm no longer needed? Unnecessary? Let go? The days of "mom, mom, mom, mama, mama, mama, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mom...." ala The Family Guy seemed they would never end and I watched people with seeming independence and freedom of space and body with envy.
One friend who went through particularly bad empty nest syndrome warned me this day would come, but I didn't really believe her. "He wants you now," she said. "But one day you'll be the one wanting him." As if! I thought. I'll be too busy doing all the things I can't do now. But what were they? And why did I care about any of them?
In the midst of my recent shock and grief, my son has let me walk him to the bus stop a few times but only as a chauffeur for his scooter which can't just walk itself home. I have to admit and accept that our time in this way is coming to a close. He is beginning to walk about the world like a real person now, no leashes allowed or required.