The conversations I overhear at the bus stop each morning are priceless – hilarious on one hand, and a “kids level” view to their emotions on the other. By the end of the year, I could probably write a book based on all of the things I’ve overheard if this one week is any indication.
Kaitlyn’s bus group is made up of a brother and sister (3rd and 1st grades, respectively), another 1st grade girl, and a 2nd grade boy (plus Kaitlyn, obviously). The parent group is made up of me, the home-office dad of the siblings, and the grandfathers (generally) of the other two kids. A little different from the all SAHM groups I always ran by last year!
My favorite bus stop moment came on Thursday morning, just before Kaitlyn got on the bus. “Kait,” I called softly, trying not to call too much attention to her from her peers, but get her to come over to me for just a second for something I had forgotten. “Stick out your hand,” I told her, and then kissed her palm and wrapped her little fingers around it, “for later, when you need it.” My mom did this for me every day of my school career that I can remember, including those days in high school and even leaving to go back to college when she could get away with it.
Kaitlyn beamed at me, and hugged her fist to her chest, and turned back towards her friends and the bus. That’s when we noticed both of the two other girls had been watching with great interest the whole encounter. “The kissing hand,” one of the girls exhaled with reverence, then wrapped her own hand into a fist like she was grabbing a kiss from the air. “The kissing hand,” the other girl said, grabbing her own air kiss. I was afraid I was embarrassing Kait, but that hand kiss was like me giving her a donut or princess sticker or something else of great worth in front of her friends. Some day it will embarrass her. I know, I remember. But this week it was special to her on its own, and it was something of pride in front of her friends.
“The Kissing Hand” is a book I had never heard of, but that Kaitlyn’s class (and all Kindergarten classes at Wells) did a little unit on this week. The book came out in 1993 – my mom should have written it, she’d been doing the kissing hand for over a decade by that point!