And the Wheels Go Round

By Rose Ann Sinay

I held my son’s plump, little hand as he negotiated the first step up into the big, yellow bus that we had watched pass our house for the past two weeks on its pre-school practice runs. He reached the top stair and turned to me. The strawberry blonde hair that I had so carefully gelled to the side now hung over his eyes. His little jaw trembled slightly, and I knew he was having second thoughts despite his excitement about the first day of kindergarten. I smiled a confident smile and whispered, “You’ll be fine,” as the driver directed Terry into the front seat.

I stood in place until the bus was well out of sight and felt foolish as a neighbor drove by, stopped, backed up and asked if I was okay.

“Yeah,” I managed to squeak pushing back the tears. “First day of school.”

She nodded her head in understanding and said, “It gets better. Believe it or not you are going to enjoy your alone time.”

I gave her a weak, skeptical smile and walked back the long driveway to my empty house. I paced; I worried; I counted the minutes. I had waited on my porch for a full twenty minutes before that golden chariot returned my precious cargo.

After a few weeks, I became room mother to the kindergarten class. I spent time scouring websites to find simple, interesting activities that gave me a reason to offer my creative talents to the classroom. As I helped other children cut out poster board turkeys or string macaroni necklaces, my eyes were really on the little genius in the third row who just happened to share my last name.

Time passed, and I discovered that my neighbor had been right. I started enjoying my “me time” instead of just trying to fill it. Some days I barely made it home from a luncheon date with friends before he bounded in the door. I found I actually liked grocery shopping without finding the forbidden sugar cereal, the extra boxes of cookies or the match box cars that had been slipped into the cart by phantom hands. My visits to the classroom became fewer and fewer. Eventually, I took a part time job that gave me extra pocket money and allowed me to be home when my son was.

And then…his sister came along. Terry, who had expected to be charmed by the promised miracle, instead, stood at a distance as the little red ball of fury cried her way through her first two months of life.

Early one morning, shortly after his sister’s noisy arrival, I found Terry fully dressed, hair slicked back and lunch box stuffed with pre-packaged raisins, nuts and cookies. He looked as eager to get out the door and on the bus as I was for him to enjoy the normalcy of the school day. Not to mention that I could use a little quiet time, myself

“We didn’t get much sleep last night, did we?” I asked, giving him a big hug. “This won’t last forever – I promise. She just needs a little time to settle in. You did the same thing when you first came home.”

“Really,” he asked, his eyes opened wide.

“Really,” I said. “We’ll be just fine; you’ll see.” And we were.

Thirteen years and many reality checks later, another vehicle – smaller in size and definitely not yellow – sits in wait in front of our house. The U-Haul attached to the back of my son’s car is filled with a couch, a computer, several sets of extra long bed sheets (that will probably never be taken out of the package) and boxes of dorm room necessities. The hand on the steering wheel is quite a bit larger and the grip – not so needy.

“Are you sure you don’t want us to go with you to help unpack,” I asked for the third or fourth time.

“Mom, I’m picking Chris up in fifteen minutes and, besides, all the guys will be there to help. Nobody’s parents are coming,” he insisted, as he put the car in reverse and competently guided the trailer down the road.

“Honey, he’s only an hour away,” my husband reminded me.

“I know,” I whined in a sing-song voice that I hated but just couldn’t help.

Suddenly, I heard the car change gears, and my son shot back up the driveway. He rolled down the window and gave me a guilty smile.

“I’ll be fine, Mom.”

“I know you will,” I said bravely and stood in place long after his car disappeared from view.

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.

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2 Responses to “And the Wheels Go Round”

  1. Tammy Rohlf says:

    How this story brought me back to those very precious times. Loved it!!!!!!!!

  2. Mary Ann Miller says:

    Oh for a glimpse those days again! Loved it!

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