I hear the screeching of
the bus brakes before I see the enormous yellow beasts halt to a stop right in
front of my house in Memphis, Tennessee. The stop signs fling outward, my
cue. Right before the curly blonde girls wearing Jellies and My Little Pony
backpacks can scatter, I trot out to the sidewalk with my own camouflaged backpack,
packed with only my journal and a pen. I fall into synchronized step with the
others, not just curly blondes, but brunettes and red headed boys and anyone
else. As their chatter fills the air, I try to smile and I walk. I walk down
the sidewalk to the end of the street and watch each child go to his or her
house. I watch the smiling mothers in the yards. I watch the little brothers
and sisters squawking a welcome home. I hear the laughter. Feel the energy.
Then I cross the street and walk down another sidewalk, again watching closely as each child
finds his house. Then the ache becomes too much, and I shuffle down sidewalk back
to my own home. Walking up the driveway, I see my brother and sister’s faces in
the window. I open my front door, step into my house and am greeted with the
scent of mom’s banana bread which I don’t really like, but suddenly long for.