The other day we were talking about the start of school, and J. said, "Sara and Henry used to come out and wait for the bus." For less than two weeks, we were out there every morning to see, but in neighborhood/friend lore that is "used to" and I love her for remembering.
I have sat outside my house for five Septembers—with Henry, with a big belly and a ghost, with Kathleen, with a big belly and Kathleen, and with Kathleen and Elizabeth—to watch these neighbor friends of ours off to school on the first day. I thought I'd watch them get on the bus with Henry in a few years (that is now suddenly next year). Our older friend will have moved on to the other school by the time Kathleen boards the bus as a kindergardener, but our younger friend will wait with her and Elizabeth too.
This morning we were out in a classic September morning, sky blue, grass dew wet, with coffee and muffins and another neighbor and her dog. It felt a little like a morning block party. Festive.
And as our friends got pictures taken in their first day of school outfits and new backpacks, I found myself thinking not of Henry who would be in preschool (preschool!) this year and ready for the bus next year, but of Kathleen, who is already clamoring to get on the bus. Not yet, my little big girl, not yet, but you will.