I watch in the rear view mirror as he walked away from me, little blonde head bobbing, toward the bus. He doesn't stop at the end of the line, he walked up further. He wants to get on the bus with his friends, but he is cutting in front of another kid. Some of the kids accept it when the kindergarteners do this because they are smaller and younger.
I hear it then, high pitched and sad, he is starting to cry in the way he does when he is trying to explain something or convince you that he is not doing anything wrong. He doesn't understand. I watch, and he is holding up the line. The bus driver talks to him.
I step out of the car, and am not sure whether I should approach. Sam steps onto the bus and I hear him. Still crying a little, explaining to the bus driver what happened. He listens for a moment, and tells him to find a seat. A few times. I hope he will do it.
And then, it is over. The bus driver looks at me, and gives me an "a-ok" signal. I give him a smile and a thumbs up. By the time Sam gets to school, he will be walking to his classroom with his friends and he will have forgotten about this.
As for me, I find that hours later I tear up a little thinking about it.
The other night, I had a nightmare.
It was evening, and I dreamed that the sliding door in the back of our house had a big hole in it and there were all these cats trying to come through to fight with our cat. Justin was there, and Sam was too. Danny was asleep in his room with the door shut. I was trying to plug the hole with a pillow and telling Justin to help me. Suddenly, all the cats were gone. And I knew something else had come. I thought it was the cougar - there has been a cougar around where we live recently. But it wasn't. It was a wolf. It came through the hole in the door, and it was trying to get Sam. I tried to hold it off, and went towards my bedroom. As I tried to get in, holding my son and trying to shut the door, I held my arm out the way they do when training attack dogs. The wolf bit my arm repeatedly as it tried to get at my son. I couldn't get the door closed.
Sam woke me up at that point, and I was actually happy to get out of my bed and go lay in his with him. Later, when I told my Mom about it, she said the symbolism was obvious - this is my brain thinking about protecting Sam from the world.
I know that I can't. I know that there will be laughter, and there will certainly be tears. I know that not every kid will be his friend, or be nice to him at all. I think that all Moms have a part that wishes we could change that, that we could make it so they didn't get hurt. I thought these things were bad when I felt them for myself... I think they are worse when I feel them through my child. Sometimes, all I can do is sit back and concede to the fact that being a mom? It can be really, really hard.