The heart on the bus goes melt, melt, melt.

April 24th, 2009

Every time I ride the bus with Small Boy, I fall in love with him all over again.

* * *

He always wants to sit up front, where he can see the driver; when I have Boychen in the stroller I cannot join him up there, I have to stand near the doors in the stroller area. Small Boy makes his way up to the front calling out “Entschuldigung! Entschuldigung!” in his high sweet musical voice as he slips through the forest of grown-up legs. He climbs up onto the seat and lifts his hands to his imaginary steering wheel. I can usually see the top of his head from where I stand with the stroller, sometimes not; but I know he is there because inevitably he starts chatting with the grown-up next to him. When we approach our stop I call out “This is us, darling” and he slips off the seat and makes his way back to me saying “Entschuldigung. I muss üsstiege. Entschuldigung.” He takes my hand, we step off the bus, and then Small Boy stops and turns. He presses the button on the doors to hold them open and waits for everybody else to get off the bus, then keeps holding the doors for everybody waiting to get on. Sometimes he motions with his little hand everybody on, everybody on. Only after all the people have boarded the bus can we go on our way.

* * *

There is an organization assisting the visually impaired in our neighborhood; as a result there are often people with guide dogs or walking sticks on our bus. Small Boy always gets up to offer them his seat. I no longer have to gently encourage him to do this.

* * *

If I do not have the stroller with me, we can exit the bus through the front door up by the driver. Small Boy always says “Tschuss. Merci.” to the driver and waves as he (it is almost always a he) drives away.

* * *

If we are running to catch a bus or tram, Small Boy turns on his sirens and flashing lights. We run down the street with him calling out “DooDah! DooDah! DooDah!” and opening and closing his fists to blink his lights. He is convinced this makes the bus driver wait, since clearly he is a Fireman running to an Emergency.

* * *

Once we boarded a bus at the first stop. We had to wait about five minutes before the scheduled run; the driver let Small Boy sit in the driver’s  seat and “drive.” This must have been over two years ago; I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even pregnant with the Boychen yet. He still turns to me sometimes and says, “Remember when I got to sit in the seat and drive? That was really nice of the driver, wasn’t it?”

* * *

He knows the names of the stops, the numbers of the bus routes we need to take to get to our favorite places. I almost think that if he ever got lost he could negotiate the buses and find his way home. He is confident and mature on the buses and trams, polite and friendly.

* * *

Small Boy sits next to an older woman on the bus and starts talking to her. He tells her he wants to be a Fireman when he grows up. He does not want to be in the Army* because in the Army sometimes you have to hurt people. We reach our stop. “I muss üsstiege. Adieu.” He waves goodbye, we get off the bus, then he waves at her again through the window as the bus drives off. I bend over to kiss his cheek. He looks up at me. “Thanks!” he says. “Thank you for being so kind,” I reply. “I do have good bus manners, don’t I,” he says with pride. “Yes, dear, you have the best bus manners.”

* * *

Every time. My heart swells every time.

* * *

* As things stand now, both boys will be required to serve in the Swiss military although there is a Civil Protection option for conscientious objectors.