John Matthew waited nervously for his first ride on Paratransit to take him to his new job at Transition Services' Art Studio. He stood in our entrance way for almost 30 minutes until the bus arrived in front of our house.
I followed behind him slowly as he walked across our front yard toward the little white bus that had finally pulled up to the curb. Since this was his first experience riding on the bus and then walking into Transition Services all by himself, I didn't know who was more apprehensive .. him or me.
I held my breath in anticipation while I watched John Matthew's hands tremble nervously as he struggled to pull three, one dollar bills out his wallet and then hand them to the busdriver. As he walked toward a seat, I could hear the bus driver asking him if he knew how to put on a seatbelt. John Matthew shook his head, "yes." After the bus driver wrote something down on a clipboard that hung near the steering wheel, the bus finally pulled away.
I am not sure how long I stood in our front yard looking toward the direction where the bus had reached the end of our street and disappeared into the day. When I eventually walked back to our front door, my face was wet with the tears of satisfaction from the endless planning that it took to prepare him for this very specific moment. Once again I rejoiced in a seemingly trivial event that we, parents of children with disabilities get to celebrate on a daily basis.
It is times like this that remind me of why our children are called "special," because that is how we will remember these many little moments.