Most of the children in our area go to the same school. The school bus comes for them at around six thirty in the morning.
My husband and I are usually having our first cup of coffee at this time, by the large window that overlooks the street.
It is hugely entertaining to watch the children go off to school. Some of them are ready early and stand by the side of the road, uniforms crisply ironed, and school books and notebooks neatly placed in their sacks. Their mothers are equally neatly turned out, with not a hair out of place. Some even have make-up on at that early hour!
One mother comes along, dragging her son behind her. My husband calls her the banana-lady. That is because she always has a half peeled banana in one hand, and makes her child eat it as she takes him to the bus stop. Why she cannot get her child ready a few minutes early and feed him at home, is something I never understand.
The older children come down the street calling to one another. They never go alone. Always in a group. Like a flock of birds.
The younger ones generally have large cardboard projects to take to school, and their parents have to carry these projects to the bus stop. Sometimes a decoration or paper stick-on falls off the project, and the poor parent has to bend down to retrieve it with one hand, while balancing the project with the other.
A few young children are a little late. The bus waits in the street for them. The driver honks the horn a couple of times. They come running and jump into the bus. Their parents run behind them, cramming notebooks into their sacks. They throw the sacks into the bus after the children.
One final honk of the horn and the bus moves down the street. The children are off to school!