My heart is on the bus

There have been a lot of “first” in our short 5 (almost) years with Larkin.  I made the decision to try out sending Larkin on the bus to school and that has had my stomach in knots for a while.  Most of you who read this blog know the painful long journey to health for our girl and it has taken a great deal of control to her environment to get her there.  Now I am releasing her?  Now?  When is a good time?  When?  She has been walking for 9 months now so it made sense to try out transportation that allows her some independence and allows me to keep the twins on their schedule.  Seems fair huh?  Easier said then done.

The bus was late.  Then our address was wrong so the bus didn’t come to our house.  Then a call saying another bus was on the way was incorrect.  I think you all know me well enough by now that if I say I am going to do it and I hold up my end of the bargain ~ well then I am going to hold the other party responsible to holding up their end.  Steve at the bus garage was awesome and handled the situation well.  Another bus was sent and we waited.  My knots growing.  My angst getting worse with every breath.

The bus turned the corner and I waved from the window and watched as the driver turned around and pulled up in front of the house.

Strangers.  They don’t her story.  They don’t know this girl.  They don’t know the pain, angst, struggle, and all the ologists in this little girl’s life.  They don’t know the fight we have given to get her to standing on this curb.

I helped her up the big steps.

I said hello to the driver and the aide.

They were pleasant and helpful.

I always appreciate when others speak directly to Larkin and treat her like a little person.

I tell the aide that Larkin is non verbal.  What I want to do is give her the 7 page Word document I hand to every caregiver so they can see paragraph by horrible paragraph ~ her story.

I help her into the big seat and she looks out the window.

The aide snaps her seat belt in place.

I stepped back and took a picture.

Just as when I handed her over to medical staff for the first set of skeletal x-rays, chest x-ray, heart echo, EKG, EEG, MRI, CT scan, ~ my heart sank and every single mommy fiber of me screamed to grab her back.  To grab her and run away.  To run from these strangers and hide away with her and protect every hair on her beautiful head.

I recognize the symptoms.  I steeled my hands into fists and took a deep breath.

I told the strangers to take her safely to school and bring her home the same.

I stepped backward off the bus.

I took a picture.

I let go.  Because the entire first that I listed above gave us the path to helping this little girl stand on that curb.  Get on that bus.  Sit in that seat.  Look out that window.

She is a beauty to behold.  She is amazing.  She is Grace and Redemption personified.  She is my heart, soul, spirit, and my love.

She is safe and loved.  Even with strangers who don’t know her story.

I turned and there was my neighbor Leslie.  A woman of faith, a mother of two, she has felt these painful feelings of letting go more then a few times.  She held me as I sobbed and told me that “they never make this easy” and she is right.

We did what all mothers do after tears; we make a joke and giggle a bit, hug again, and move on into the day of work.

Walking back to the front door I could hear Brin and Erin crying for me and I sat with both babies on the floor of the foyer and cried with them.

I pulled it together until I heard Larkin’s stuffed Tad toy begin his learning time music.  Tad was alone and my tears began again.

That is until Brin quickly crawled over to him, happy as a clam when she realized that big sister was not going to bonk her over the head for playing with him.

Laughing I turned into Erin and began our new first of morning with the twins, my heart, soul, spirit, and my loves, until the big girl comes home, 14 bursts in the door from his day, daddy makes his way home, and we are complete




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17 Responses to My heart is on the bus

  1. Amy says:

    So proud of you and Larkin! I understand so completely your apprehension and fears, since Eli was nonverbal as well when he started riding the little bus. But it really did help him to learn to attach to other folks, to learn to do some things all on his own, and to be brave, above all else. As he began to communicate better, some of my fears were alleviated. I hope all goes well in the coming weeks.

  2. zoey's mom says:

    I am so proud of you and so beyond proud of Larkin.Look at your big,beautiful girl sitting there … I cried as I read this and knew all too well the pain that goes along with relinquishing control.

    Peace and love and faith and hope,coming to you all,as this new chapter begins

  3. Lisa Frerichs says:

    I need a Xanax after that story! Larkin looks so content looking out the window; she knows she is making you proud! I’m hoping she goes to Robeson so I can enjoy her happy little face when I’m there! Can’t wait to see the pics when she gets off the bus!

  4. Jen says:

    Big deep breaths Mama. I canNOT believe how big she is getting. I’ve decided not to put Sophie on a bus for her first year in pre-k. I/we need to adjust to this transition and then maybe next year we’ll reconsider it. Good for you.

  5. Cynthia says:

    I got goosebumps when I read this….love to you, your girl and the rest of the family!

  6. Beautifully written entry. I admire your strength and I know that your daughter is so lucky to have you in her corner. Shes quite the cutie btw!

  7. Amy says:

    You are all doing so well. Happy first bus ride, mama!

  8. amy flege says:

    i am so proud of you amy! i havent been able to put mayson on the bus yet…. so i give you all the credit in the world! Larkin is getting so big! look at that tan she has too!! she is beautiful and will do great!!!

  9. Amy says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments and thoughts. Knowing you are all with me in spirit makes life a lot easier. Love you all!


  10. Danielle says:

    Happy first day Larkin! Your strength is her strength Amy and it shows how strong you both are in these pictures. It’s the beginning of a whole new set of adventures for you both to discover and grow from. I cannot even imagine the possibilities.

  11. dale says:

    read it with tears. so beautiful, so painful and so joyful.
    Thank you God for the blessings of little ones.

  12. Becca says:

    Putting our little ones on the bus is never easy. But trust me, they’ll be so happy you made that decision! Sammi usually loves riding the bus. Larkin’s beautiful! I haven’t seen her in a very long time (I think it may have been back when I was lurking on Down Syn more frequently), and she’s getting soooo grown up!! Wow!

  13. Laura says:

    I wish I had been there to cry with you. XO

  14. Ami says:

    Look how beautiful and strong she looks! Look at the huge smile on her face! Hopefully Larkin’s smile as got off the bus when she returned home was even bigger and she had a wonderful day! I’m happy for you both and beyond proud of you!

  15. Dori says:

    As an elementary teacher for the past 37 years…I see something totally different in these pictures. I see a beautiful little girl turning the page into the next chapter of her life. Congrats Mom for being strong and allowing Larkin to go forth to reach her full potential.

  16. Peggy says:

    Okay.. you made me cry reading this! Larkin is such an inspiration and she is just adorable. Hope each day on the bus gets easier.

  17. April Novak-Borgsmiller says:

    OMG Amy Larkin is amazing. She is beautiful and looks so proud to be standing on those steps!

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