Contemplating success at the corner bus stop

contemplating success at the corner bus stop - www.alliepottswrites.comIt was my morning with the kids and their cousins. My morning to supervise them as they pulled out every toy I had so painstakingly put away just days before. My morning to ensure they reached the bus stop with backpacks and lunch sacks intact.

Some mornings those tasks are easier than others.

I informed the crew that it was time to clean up. My youngest, LT, pouted. “Now, honey,” I started. He pouted some more. “Five-year-olds are big enough to pick up their own mess.” He grumbled and whined, but I was satisfied to see the toy go back into its spot.

Now typically on my morning, I drop LT off with the wonderful woman who watches him while I work before taking the rest of the kids to their destination. But this morning, one of the kids asked if LT might come to the bus stop with them instead. Another chimed in – they wanted to race. I looked at the clock. We’d have to wait outside longer than normal, were they sure?

Spring has come early to my neck of the woods this year. We’ve spent the last two weekends with the kids outside and the windows open. Already the trees and flowers are budding and small pink petals dot the streets. My concern about a few minutes extra exposure to the great outdoors fell on deaf ears.

Fine. I’d be democratic about it – this time.

I altered our course and soon we were at the stop. The children dumped their bags at the corner by my feet and congregated a few yards away – close enough for me to keep an eye on them, but far enough that they might whisper among themselves unheard. The next thing I knew they were running down the sidewalk back toward me.

Or more specifically, LT ran. Kiddo, my eldest, and my nephew, Casimir, took turns moving in what can only be described as spastic hop, yet tiny tip-toe sized step that might have only impressed a snail with progress. LT, passing them with ease, ran around me, grinning from ear to ear. As LT returned to their starting point/finish line both Kiddo and Casimir tried to one-up each other in exaggerated groans about how fast their youngest competitor now was. It was a far cry from the fits and tantrums we used to experience about ‘unfair’ contests and proof of how mature the boys had become.

Before long other children began to arrive, filling up the sidewalk and preventing further races. One child shouted “Bus,” like a whaler of old spotting a blowhole out at sea as the big yellow vehicle appeared from around the corner. The kids scrambled to pick up their backpacks and gathered in a line as LT returned to my side.

Picking him up, we waved at the faces grinning at us from the other side of the windows. “That’s going to be you soon,” I told my youngest as the bus pulled away. “Are you ready?”

He smiled and nodded, undoubtedly thinking that the coming school year would be filled with fun and games like the time he’d just had.

Recalling the display at being asked to put toys away, I decided to make this a teachable moment. “You know, when you are in school, you are going to have to listen to your teacher when he or she tells you to do things.”

LT looked at me and cocked his head to one side. “Why?”

“Because you don’t want to go to the principal’s office or get bad grades.”

The look of confusion on LT’s face only deepened. He repeated, “Why?”

“Because they will call mommy then or give mommy a bad report. You don’t want that.”

He chewed on my answer for a moment or two. “Okay mommy, I’ll listen to my teacher.” I smiled and patted his head. Then, so softly, I almost missed it, LT muttered, “sometimes.”

LT might think he is ready for school, but I now have to wonder if his school will be ready for him.

Later, our conversation made me think of my own plans for the future and some of the stumbling blocks I’ve already encountered. Often, I complain about how long these plans are taking as patience is not my best virtue. The morning then became a good reminder that while I might achieve the measures by which I currently judge my success, there will always be challenges I have yet to envision.

Therefore, I cannot, will not let those unforeseen bumps discourage me completely. I have to remind myself of those that traveled a similar path before me, of those who didn’t know then what they know now, and how they matured along the way. Every day, as I take another step down that path, I tell myself, I am closer now than ever before, even if I am forced to retrace a few steps or take the occasional detour.

Because that is what I do. That is what I’ve done.

Though it sometimes seems I still have a long way yet to go, I know that when (not if) I finally do reach the future of my dreams, the bigger question is now will my dreams be ready for me?

35 thoughts on “Contemplating success at the corner bus stop

  1. I liked your sentiments about the path to your goal. It made me reflect on my own, and now it seems to me I am forever in a state of becoming, and that my “goals” shift, and I therefore re-align every day! Now I’m thinking one day at a time, with my eye on the horizon. The future rarely looks like what I thought it would, and keeping this in mind is helpful along the path. Great post today!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that’s a problem, alternately good and bad.

        [FYI, 4amWriter is having a blog party in which she’s asking her readers to leave a link to someone else’s blog. I added a link to this post, ’cause you make me smile.]

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful, Allie. I love how you find wisdom in the fresh viewpoints offered by your kids. So cute. L.T. is going to take the world by storm, I think. “Sometimes” traveling outside expectations is a great way to explore and grow. The world will be ready. It always is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Sometimes.” Ha. Well, at least he’s honest! Hi Allie! I’m swinging by from my blog party because Ally Bean recommended your blog as a great one to read. She was right! I loved this post, as I’m a writer *and* a Mom, and I’m well familiar with the tug-of-war between the two. Often, I’m set to wondering the same things about dreams as you, am I ready??

    Get ready dreams, here we come! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a character, that’s for sure.
      Thanks for stopping by. I was delighted to be invited to your party by Ally and am glad to meet you as well as some great other bloggers over there.

      Here we come indeed.


  4. Hi, I found you via 4amwriters blog party, and I’m glad I did find you!

    I look forward to hearing more about LT. My own LT is now at University, although his younger brother follows somewhat in his footprints. I have a collection of teacher quotes that one day I will share back with them. At a suitable moment ….like at their wedding speeches… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The public school system expects children to enter into the program knowing the basics like their ABCs, handwriting, shapes and colors, so parents will enroll in a preschool program as early as three here too. I lucked out. The lady who watches LT is a former primary school teacher, so in that regard LT is ready.

      And thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love these posts. You really should write more life philosophy, it’s so good. It’s funny, I listened to Joanna Penn today and she basically said the same. She complains bitterly sometimes about how slow things are, how many diversions and stumbling blocks and how slow it all feels when you’re in it, but now she looks back it’s gone so fast. I think it must be what all writers feel. Even mums – babies to adults in the blink of an eye.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Haha! “Sometimes.” Yeah, well, at least he’s honest. And what is with kids shouting about the bus? Because you’re right. It’s really loud. Like, yes, we see it. And, yes, we can hear you.

    Yup, we retrace steps and take detours and that is totally fine. And your dreams? They are waiting for you, my friend. Ready and waiting… 🙂


    1. One of these days one of the kids is going to shout “Thar she blows.” I just know it. The anticipation is killing me.

      My dreams better have the place decked out in glam and glitter (while keeping it tasteful) when I finally get there. I hope your path has been a bit more smooth and direct more recently than mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I really needed this today. Thank you. I’ve been contemplating my own success, and I run in spurts in which I’m happy that I’m at least making progress and other spurts when (like today) I feel like I just can’t do anything right.

    I look back, and my goals have shifted and sometimes changed completely. What I wanted so passionately when I was 19 is *so* different from what I want (just as passionately) now. I keep telling myself that sometimes goals change and that that’s okay. And sometimes timelines don’t match up and that’s okay, too.

    Anyway . . . I agree with another commentator above that women like you amaze me. Truly. You write novels, work a full-time job, take care of a family, and post regularly on this blog. I’m not doing nearly as much, but I feel like I’m working so hard. I look back at how I spend my day and I feel like I’m productive all day long but still didn’t finish what I wanted to. And every time I rev up my work on one thing I always let something else slide. I love blogging, but this past year I’ve been so focused on writing stories (that I can’t seem to get the guts up to send out to any publications) that I haven’t been blogging like I want to.

    I guess your contemplation started a contemplation of my own. Thanks again for your post. It was lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m rather far from my vision for myself at 19 as well. I seem to recall thinking I wasn’t cut out for children back then. I mean I’ve always liked kids but I thought I would be that cool aunt who visited, spoiled them, and then raced off to my super techy lifestyle.

      For what it is worth, I’ve had to make a conscious decision to let certain things go, like the idea of achieving rapid timelines. It can be very frustrating at times which is why I am so very grateful for people like you for sticking it out with me and sharing your own experiences. We might have a long path still to trod, but at least we aren’t alone.

      Liked by 1 person

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