Last night I slept with Bus Chicken.
I didn’t really mean to. It sort of just happened.
I’ve slept with Chicken Noodle and Chicken Little many times. But never Bus Chicken.
Bus Chicken appeared in my bed for the first time last night. She was soft and easy to be with. She didn’t grind her teeth like Little or donkey-kick like Noodle.
But all the same, it made me a little bit sad to sleep with Bus Chicken.
It was bittersweet.
That’s because Bus Chicken would’ve never come to live with us if it weren’t for a few key factors. Today is the last day of school, which means the last day of my baby’s Kindergarten year. Little has thrived and flourished since September. She learned to skip a bar on the monkey bars, navigate hot lunch, check out books from the library, and write and count and read.
For every ten books she read, her teacher let her choose a gift from the classroom treasure chest.
The treasure chest is where Bus Chicken came from, yesterday.
Bus Chicken is a hand puppet. Little’s teacher perched Bus Chicken on her hand to help guide Kindergartners to their proper ride home for I don’t know how many years, maybe 25? Until now.
Little’s Kindergarten teacher is retiring this year. She was Noodle’s Kindergarten teacher, too. It’s one of the many wild cards in parenting that brings immense gratitude when it works out right—good teachers. Today is Sue Carroll’s last day of teaching.
I can only imagine that is why she put Bus Chicken in the treasure box. Bus Chicken gets to retire, too.
I wonder if she was sad, handing off Bus Chicken. Or maybe relieved to put down that responsibility. Or, probably, a little of both.
I feel so lucky that Bus Chicken came to live with us. First of all, we know chickens around here. We are chickens. Chickens R Us.
Second, Noodle was overjoyed. Me too. Because Bus Chicken means we get to keep a special memento of my girls’ first year in school, of how they got launched off so expertly on their educational journey.
Thank you, Sue. Bus Chicken is in good hands.
But—Universe? Thanks for everything, I love it, but probably enough chickens in my bed. It’s getting crowded, and the feathers sometimes stick in my hair.