Alex rode the bus today for the first time.
We didn’t know that they were coming this morning. But there they were, the giant yellow bus with its flashing lights. We put Brother in the harness and fastened him to the seat. And he was gone. Just like that, my day was empty.
Oh, how I worried. I fretted. I sat. I called the school. I texted his helper.
He got to school. “He was upset, I’m not going to lie.” His aid told me. She rocked him and three minutes later he was fine.
Then around 2 the bus pulled up in front of the house. He was crying and sleepy. I held him and brought him in, holding him close to my body. My six hours of worry trying to soothe his soft cries. “Mommy’s here.” I heard myself say. The same thing I’ve whispered a million times to my seven babies when they are upset or hurting. But he didn’t fold into me. He was upset because things were weird and different. I took off his coat and his harness. I gave him his favorite toy, and he was fine.
This is a new thing for me. To be needed, but not needed. I need you, mother, to help me with my world. I need you to help me be all I can be. I need you to make sure I get the therapies I need, the nourishment I need, the sleep I need, the routines I need. But mother, I don’t need you. This is different for me. I’m used to fixing everything with a kiss and a snuggle. You may not need me physically to hold you and wipe away your tears, but I’m here, Alex. I’m here.