Thursday, October 21, 2010

Philadelphia Freedom

"Dad, it's 6:22am, we should go now..." My son says as he packs his lunch into a nylon back pack. We leave and walk down the one block to the school, running into classmates and parents along the way. We enter the school and you can sense the excitement right away. The kids are bleary eyed but are fueled with adrenalin as they scramble to find their class meeting section. The Parents are trying to follow through the somewhat organized pandemonium of the lunchroom, all while lugging a suitcase. My son finds his class, checks in with the class parent and is given a baseball cap. The denim colored hat will identify them with the school and announce to the world that this group is the "Class of 2018".

After 45 minutes of assembly, checkins and picture taking by parents, its time to get everyone on the coach busses stationed outside. The busses are loaded by class in which my son's class is slotted third. When it is their class is called, the kids rush to the pile of suitcases, find their bag and proceed in a parade, exiting the lunchroom. There is a pileup of kids, suitcases and parents all trying to squeeze through the doorways and follow the kids out. I make my way out a different set of doors on the other side of the lunchroom so I am now positioned in front of the pack and ready with my camera as my son and his friends walk and talk their way through the front hall of the school. 

The sun is just peaking out now as the kids bunch together by the side of the bus, each taking turns seeing how far their bag goes into the belly of the coach bus. The slow process of getting the kids through the door of the bus is slowed down by parents desperately trying to take one last photo of their child and friends. As the last of the kids enter the bus, the parents are all standing around, talking to each other about their child, about how much fun the kids are going to have, and what they will do while their child is away. 

The doors close and the bus driver presses the engine start button and the bus roars to life. The lights flicker on inside the cabin and I can see my son sitting around the middle of the bus. He turns his head and notices me waiting for the busses to leave. He does not know if I see him, but leans toward the window and waves hard. I wave back. 

I walk away as the busses are slowly moving forward, ready to travel to Philadelphia for three days of museums, colonial history and hanging out with their classmates. I think I miss him already.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.