I can still remember Cody’s little head barely visible in the school bus window as the bus monitor buckled him in with his harness when he first started school. He was so tiny, so fragile to me then. In order to lessen his anxiety and probably mine, I stood at the end of the driveway and waved goodbye every morning – rain, sunshine, or snow – until the bus disappeared down the street. What started out as a way to calm his anxiety when he began Head Start, became a daily routine that lasted until he graduated from elementary school. What I discovered during that time was that Cody was not the only child who needed to be acknowledged. Many of the other kids looked for me when the bus pulled up and waved to me as the bus pulled away day after day. It became a ritual for us all. Just the simple gesture of waving, just the few minutes it took to do so, was a way to say to my son as well as the other children, “I see you. You are important enough for me to stop what I am doing and acknowledge you.” So many times, I saw other parents rush to put their children on the bus and never look back. They didn’t stop for even a second to wave to their child. This was interesting to me because no matter how much of a hurry they were in, they could not leave until the bus left anyway. I believe sometimes we get so caught up in what we have to do next, the never-ending list of things we have to do each day, that we forget to stand in the moment and see what’s right in front of us. I have done it. I have forgotten to wave to Cody because I was in a hurry, or I was distracted by the garbage can that needed to be brought up the driveway, or I was just too tired to remember. But, when my son got home, he reminded me that I had forgotten, and that devastated look said to me that I hadn’t just forgotten to wave, I had also forgotten him, and that was all the reminder I needed of the importance of staying in the moment. When he started sixth grade this year, everything about our routine changed. The bus no longer stopped in front of the house, and he no longer wanted me anywhere near him while he waited at the end of the street for it. I walked him to the bus stop the first day, and he was angry about it. I tried to wave to him from the door as he left to walk down the street, and he was having none of that either. He didn’t need my reassurances anymore. It was harder for me to let him go than it was for him to let me go, but I had to do it. I’m glad that I took the time to acknowledge him for all the years that he allowed me to. We’ve got to take all the chances we can to let our children know how important and special they are before what we say and do is lost in the chaos created by the words and actions of others. Maybe just for today, you can brainstorm ideas on how you can pause in the moment and acknowledge your child, implement a few of those ideas, and see what happens! In the next post, I will discuss another way I take a moment each day to acknowledge my son while also sending him off with a positive message.