Brendan has riden the bus to school for years now...I guess almost 7, to be exact, since he began when he was three.
Every morning he happily runs to the bus, backpack flopping, fingers firmly pressed in his ears. That would be his response to any intense emotion (or situation): anger, anxiety, happiness, or in this case, excitement.
But today, his ears weren't plugged. And instead of running as fast as he can up the bus steps, he stopped. And turned around. "Bye Bye Mommy!" he called, waving.
Be still my heart.