Today I planned for Cole and myself to take the city bus to the library (two things we haven't done this summer, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone [yes, I should be ashamed that we haven't been to the library all summer]). Cole has been fascinated with school buses and city buses for as long as he could inquire about them, and our bus tour on a converted school bus with cows painted on the side at Fair Oaks Farms, an awesome, fun dairy farm between here and Chicago, sent him over the edge. He had to have another experience with a bus. It was just too much for him to do without.
So I got online and learned about riding the Lafayette CityBus system--how to get on the bus, how to pay, and which was the correct bus for us to ride if we wanted to go from the closest stop for us (the Meijer store) to the library. Then I got on the Weather Channel website and made sure that we wouldn't be walking to our bus stop in the rain. The forecast was storms in at 6 a.m., cloudy all day, and then storms again around 4 p.m. So we were all set. And this morning, as we discussed our plans, Cole was thrilled and I was nervous.
We made it to Meijer just as the bus was pulling in to the parking lot, so we jogged to the stop, climbed on, put our money in, and chose a seat that put Cole's little head below the windows. But this boy was as content as could be. He didn't want to move and he didn't want to sit in my lap so he could see the diggers working on State Road 26. "I fine," he said, after having to answer my million questions that would enable him to be "fine" in my book. Such a big guy. And he asked his own million questions along the way, about the lights, the red levers on the emergency windows, the pull-cords that let the driver know when we need to get off.
We were delivered safely to our stop, and we walked the rest of the way to the library. When he got there he walked right up to the librarian and inquired where he might find Arthur and Curious George, and he proceeded to pick out his books. Then we got comfy and read a book, then chose an Arthur video, then pottied, and then headed out for the maybe 4 block walk to the bus stop.
Just as we got there I saw a bus pass by and wondered if it was ours, running a little early, but I knew another would come before too long, so I didn't sweat it. As we crossed the street to the corner, I pointed out to Cole that the sky to the left of us was extremely dark. And before long, those dark clouds were rolling right over us. But still, I was remembering the Weather Channel and was not concerned. Even when the huge rain drops started falling, we stood by a tree to stay pretty dry, and I was still not worried... until the lightening and thunder started, and two buses passed us on the opposite side of the road. So I started to consider that maybe we should be boarding the bus on that side of the road. So we crossed over and stood under the overhang of the Journal and Courier's private employee entrance. Despite being asked about 4 times by the sweet employees to come inside, I knew that we would not see the bus approaching if we went inside. So we continued to wait, watching both sides of the road for a bus to come. And I asked Cole numerous times, "Should we call Daddy, or do you want to wait for the bus?" "Let's wait for the bus," he'd say, with drippy hair and chattering teeth. Until finally, after probably 20 minutes, I did see a bus coming from the opposite direction. So I did a jay-walk move, running across to the other side so the driver would stop for me (I learned that on one of the videos I watched last night--if you're not on the correct side of the road, they won't stop for you.) I waved him down, and we were safely headed back.
And as Cole shivered on the bus seat, he still refused to let me hold him in my lap. He was taking this like a man. And the thought I couldn't get out of my mind was this: Had I been experiencing this by myself, I would have been nervous and grumpy. But having Cole there to experience it with me made it more of an adventure. I knew we were safe and that we'd eventually get where we needed to be. And as often as I'm reminded that many things in my life become a little more complicated with a boy standing at my feet, some things become more enjoyable with that little guy there with me. So despite the rain and wet, it was a good trip. And before we were even halfway back he was already asking when we could ride again. I would say that meant it was all worth it.