Dylan Was Meant To Skip.

Many mornings, I drive Dylan to the bus stop. It’s not far – maybe a quarter of a mile – but it gives us a minute to sit together. He probably should be walking, to get those endorphins going, but he always ends up running while wearing a monstrous backpack. The thing weighs about 50 pounds, and I feel for him.

Plus, he’s been having a lot of good mornings, and it’s actually pleasant taking him to the bus stop.

He has been coming downstairs early – almost “on time,” which is 15 minutes before the bus comes. He puts on his shoes while he eats breakfast, but for the most part, he’s ready to go. He eats most of his breakfast now instead of carrying it out the door with him. It was always funny watching him wrap up dry pancakes and carry them out the door, but he did it so often I was beginning to think he might prefer them without syrup.

So one day, I drove him to the bus stop like I often do. And we sat and talked for a minute, like we often do. I am trying hard not to harp on his grades or his missing work or what papers he needs to turn in – or whatever. So we had a reasonably pleasant conversation.

It was a rainy but nice morning, although it’s darker in the mornings now. And the bus came with its bright red flashers, and pulled in front of us, like it often does. I kissed Dylan on the head and he grabbed his backpack and his coffee and started walking toward the bus.

Then he started to skip. He walked a few feet, and I guess he got a little too happy. He skipped three or four times, and landed near the back of the bus – when he either realized he was skipping, or forgot to skip. And then he walked to the bus door with the rest of the neighborhood kids.

Sitting there at 7 a.m. on that gray morning, I started to cry. I hadn’t seen Dylan skip to school in his whole life.

Skipping, for Dylan, is an energy outlet and a subtle show of happiness. He’s been skipping since he was very young, and did it without ever being taught. It’s one of those things that just came naturally to him, along with his long hair, giant smile and free style. Dylan was meant to skip.

Sure, he skips during the summer. He also skips on weekends. He skips when he’s excited about going to work at Field of Screams. He even skips sometimes when he’s just walking the dog, or heading out to the swing set.

But I’d never seen Dylan skip to the bus. The bus was always a signal of doom. It was the thing that would take him to school, which was his “death sentence” only last year.

But Dylan is getting better. He’s growing up, and finding his way, and doing what he needs to do for himself.

And sometimes, I guess, that means he needs to skip to school.

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