A few weeks ago, Luke told me he wanted to learn more Vietnamese. My heart just exploded! I’ve been teaching him Vietnamese every night but didn’t know if he enjoyed it or just repeating what I said to appease me. So when he showed interest in learning more about the language, it made me feel elated and excited that he was interested in something that was so dear to my heart.
And I guess that’s how he felt when I took a day off of work to take him on a bendy bus date.
It’s no surprise that Luke loves cars and anything with wheels since his dad is a car fanatic. We noticed lately that Luke was taking an interest in the CTA buses around town, specifically the bendy buses (or the double-articulated buses). He and Charlie would talk about them all the time (I think Charlie secretly liked them just as much as Luke).
For Christmas, we got him a bendy bus toy (we couldn’t find the CTA version on Amazon but got the NYC one instead). I will always remember his reaction when he opened the gift. A little bit of shock and a lot of happiness.
So a few days after Christmas, I thought it would be fun if Luke and I went on a bendy bus date. Of course, he needed to bring his new bendy bus on the date as well. To be honest, Luke has never been on a CTA bus. He’s been on buses in every other city but Chicago. I feel like a horrible parent just thinking that he hasn’t experienced a bus ride in his own city. We are so used to getting in our car and driving around town because it’s so much more convenient. But when you have a day devoted to an adventure and there’s no set schedule, a bus ride here and there was no problem.
We hopped on bendy buses going up and down Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. (FYI- tons of bendy buses are Michigan Avenue and they come very frequently). His favorite place to sit was in the back, where it was super bumpy. When on the buses, I would watch him look outside the window. I wanted to ask what he was thinking but I didn’t. He was being present or mindful of his surroundings. I was being mindful as I watched him and wondered what he was thinking.
I want to bottle up how I felt that day in a bottle. For times when I’m feeling sad or frustrated, to open up that bottle just to relive the emotions. We were both happy with the simplest thing…a bus ride and that we got to spend the day together. I hope he will remember this day too. I want him to always know that we will support him in whatever he does and likes. Whether it’s his interest in the bendy bus or being a race car driver or anything in life, we want to make sure his voice is heard and that his dreams are supported (big or small).
When we were riding home from our date, I asked him if he had fun. His response melted my heart…”it was the bestest date with you, mama.” I wanted to cry on the spot but gave him a big and long hug instead. I’m not sure I’ll be able to top this adventure in 2017 but I do have more adventures planned and unplanned for us.
Sometimes, just giving some attention to their little obsessions will make a world of difference. It’s not hard to do either. Lately, we’ve been giving this type of attention to each other and I hope that it will only strengthen our mother-son bond.
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