The corner down the block is the bus stop for several of the local schools, both public and private. Each morning, children in uniforms ranging from green/khaki, white/gray, blue/white and red plaid/white, and children in plainclothes can be seen loitering around while moms observe the antics. Eight AM is a particularly busy time, as three buses come within five minutes of each other. Managing several children of school age, younger siblings (some confined to strollers and some not) can be an adventure.
For OctoBoy, waiting at the bus stop not only means he can catch up with his preschool girlfriend, Calla, every morning as they wait for their respective buses -- hers goes to the local public Charter School, and his goes to the Parish School. Notes are compared, wild rumors are started and quashed, and generally the commiserate on the nature of parents and teachers. It's cute.
This year, we have been joined by a new family, who has a daughter in the local cult academy. (No, really -- some stripe of extreme, primitive fundamentalism that advocates full-on speaking in tongues, serpent handling, praying away illnesses and attributing said illnesses to demonic possession, ahoy!) Calla and OctoBoy were dubious, as the mom kept shooing her child away from "those Hellbounders."
The first two weeks were a wee bit awkward, but Calla's mom and I are fairly easy-going. Both of us were polite and non-committal to being witnessed to (Calla's mom is Lutheran, and I am Catholic), and tried to keep things to neutral subjects like the weather. Until this morning, when both of us were handed a fistful of Chick tracts apiece and given a condescending speech on the Rapture, and how we would be prayed for as we burned in the great lake of fire.
By a nine-year-old.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over? I'm being lectured on the state of my soul by someone who is four times younger than I, and four feet tall? I struggled to maintain a straight face and polite mien, while Calla's mom literally rolled on the ground howling like a hyena, quoting the good parts between gales of laughter.
I suppose it's wrong of me to hope that they decide on another mode of transport huh? I do not think I could handle a solid year of being evangelized to.