I walked out of the lift at 6:28am today and guess what I saw.
A big, noisy schoolbus.
Though it wasn’t the big yellow schoolbus that had a major peripheral role in Mean Girls, it made me smile nonetheless. Schoolbuses are close to my heart. And the sight of it this particular morning signifies something I no longer had a share in (at least not the same way). First day of school.
Powdery white shoes and clean socks up to mid calf. An oversized haversack of unnecessarily huge and colourful books. Wide-eyed and scared to death.
In my own time, at a time when I still sounded (hopefully) like the female version of Dane Cook’s impression of himself as a six year old, itchy eye, muffled voice and all, my mother readied me by 6am. I remember sitting by the side of my parents’ bed, all 3 of us staring at the clock, until the sound of the clumsy bus pulling up at the pick-up point propelled us out the door.
That day, when the final bell rang, I clamoured to the huge carpark with 193 (?) other primary one kids to board the bus that was to fetch me back to childcare. My mother’s instructions were clear: look for your friends on the bus! What I didn’t know was that she was standing by at 1246pm, sucking in an anxious breath when she saw me climbing up the bus that said ‘Hougang’. She released that breath, relieved, when she saw me tottering back down.
On that day, my parents picked me up from childcare to hear my exasperated accusation that “daddy’s car was behind the schoolbus!!”
So ended my exciting first day of school. No, I didn’t poo in my pants, I’d already pulled that stunt in nursery.