‘Katie! Katie! Can you come up to the bus stop? Matthew wants to come with us, but Mum isn’t dressed yet.’
Half way through my own dressing routine, my ten-year-old sister bounces into my bedroom. Her usual enthusiasm makes me smile. ‘Alright.’
Out the door we go. I pull on Dad’s black rubber gumboots and walk towards the driveway.
‘Come on, Matthew! Come and see the bus!’ Timothy, my younger brother, and Anna both talk to two-year-old Matthew simutaneously.
Seeing me, he runs over on his small legs and takes my hand. I pick him up and sit him on my hip. The brisk walk up the driveway is filled with Anna’s chatter and my breathlessness. I shift Matthew higher and gulp in air. Talk about a hike.
We make it to the top of our gravel drive in record time and within a few seconds, the bus can be heard and then seen coming down the road. Matthew gives Anna a hug and trots over to stand next to me as the bus stops in front of us. A serious little face watches his older brother and sister climb aboard. There is no bus pointing or chatter this morning. I wave to Brian, the driver and to my sister, who has her face pressed to the glass.
‘Bye, Anna,’ I say, for Matthew’s benefit as the bus pulls away.
Matthew turns to me, hand out stretched, business-like and serious. His duty as family bus fare-weller is complete. He leads me off down the drive without waiting to watch the departing bus. But just before it is completely out of sight, back turned, head down, a little hand waves in a quick movement to the fading sound of a school bus engine behind him.
This was written back in my teens to remind myself of the cute behavior of little people before they grow up on us and we’re left with the memories that make you laugh or perhaps cry years later.
Here’s to hoping you have a memory or two that still makes you chuckle,
xx The Girl in Trousers