It's hard to believe, that so many years ago, here is where our story began, right at this very bus stop, on our first day of school.
And it's even harder to believe that it's now our daughter's turn venture out on the scary adventure that is public schooling. Fang and I highly considered private school after we realized what some of the characters that attended public school, our prime example being Iggy of course. But, after much deliberation we came to the conclusion that we didn't end up too messed up, so our daughter would be just fine attending Westfall Elementary, just as we did.
Fang and I had both taken the day off from work so we could walk our daughter down to the bus stop for her very first day on kindergarten. As you can imagine, it was a big moment for us and yes we were going to be the overbearing, hysterical, parents who just can't seem to let their baby go. Don't judge us, you'll understand one day when you too, are parents, no matter how much you swear you won't be, let me assure you, you will act just like your parents. It's inevitable.
While I finished pulling Avery's dark brown, curly, hair into a high pony tail, Fang walked over to his parents' house to drop off our two year old son, Xavier.
"Okay sweetie, I think you're all ready for you first day of kindergarten. Are you excited?" I asked her as I knelled down to her level, her deep brown eyes, wide as she started back at me. Avery definitely got her looks from her father, that's for sure.
Her lower lip jutted out as she began to pout, "No. I don't wanna go Mommy. I don't want you and Daddy to get lonely, soo," She drawled, wide eyed and staring at me, "I think I'll just say here today, okay?" She asked, her tone fiending innocence.
I had to avert my eyes quickly because I knew looking directly into her big brown eyes would cause my resolution to break.
"Well that is very sweet of you baby, but Daddy and I will be just fine. You have to go to school," I told her making my tone final as she took a deep breath and buffed out her cheeks.
She may look like Fang, but there's no doubt about it, she inherited my attitude.
"No! I don't wanna! I don't wanna! I don't wanna!" She screeched as she huffed, crossed her little arms across her chest and attempted to glare at me.
Oh, she has so much to learn.
"Now Avery, stop it. You are going to have a great time. Think of all the friends you're gunna make. Don't worry sweetie, you'll be just fine," I reassured her as I gave her a soft peck on her forehead and pulled her in for a tight hug. She immediately buried her face into my neck and clung tightly on to me.
"I'm scared Mommy," Avery whispered into my ear and my gut reaction was to hold her closer.
"I know baby, but you'll do fine. Everyone is going to love you."
In response she hugged me tighter and whispered into my ear, "Love you Mommy."
I smiled and looked down at her with the love only a mother could know, "I love you too sweetie."
Fang decided to reenter the room at that exact moment, smiling down at us as he had witnessed our little exchange.
Although he'd never admit this, he's opened up significantly over the years, no longer the static emotionless brick wall he once was.
"Ah, there's my two favorite girls. Ready to go, princess?" Fang asked as he slung her brand new backpack over his shoulder.
After a deep breath she nodded, took Fang's outstretched hand, and headed for the door. I quickly grabbed her lunchbox and followed not too far behind.
After a few long strides, I quickly caught up to them and grabbed Avery's free hand, the three of us walking down the sidewalk to our designated bus stop. We continued to walk in a comfortable silence before Fang, sensing the tension radiating off our daughter, began to hum her favorite song, the one he used to sing to her every night when he believed no one was watching.
Little did he know that I was listening through the baby monitor. It's great black mail when I want him to do something. As I said, some things never change.
She looked up at him with those big brown eyes and smiled, relaxing her shoulders a bit as we continued down the sidewalk.
Just as we arrived at our destination she began to tense again, ducking behind my legs in an attempt to hide from the other children. I have to say, as a mother, it broke my heart to see my daughter so scared. If it had been my choice, I wouldn't have made her go, but I really just don't think it would work out so well for us if I was walking my sixteen year old down to the bus stop for her first day of kindergarten. I can imagine the looks from the parents now.
I looked up at Fang to see the same pained look in his eyes as he watched our frightened daughter trembled behind my legs. He looked down to me with pleading eyes to which I sternly shook my head no. We just couldn't do that.
"She's terrified; we can always try next year. Maybe she'll be ready then." He mouthed to me as he has always had a soft spot when it came to our children. I always had to be the bad guy.
"No," I mouthed back sternly as I wrapped my arms around Avery in an attempt to sooth my baby, "She has to do this and we have to be strong."
He nodded, somewhat dejectedly before coming up beside me to rub Avery's shoulders.
I looked around and noticed that there was also a little boy who seemed to be going through the same emotions as my little girl. His dirty blond hair stuck out all over the place as he buried his face into his mother's body. Shyly, he peeked his head out between his mother's legs and stared curiously at the other kids, particularly the little girl currently hiding behind me- my baby girl.
I smirked as I glanced up at the young boy's mother, who seemed to have the same knowing glint in her eyes as she took notice to her son's curiosity.
"Look Avy, I think someone likes you," I cooed, as she lifted her head from my side.
Avery peeped out from under my legs from where she was hiding to look at the little boy whom seemed to be mirroring her actions.
"Hi," she stated timidly as she continued to hide behind me, just barely peeking her head out from the side of my leg to wait for the boys answer.
"Hi, I'm Cameron, um want to share my Jell-O?" he asked sweetly as he slowly moved out from behind his mother taking a baby step towards her with an outstretched hand holding tightly to a small Jell-O cup.
Avery noticeably perked up at the word "Jell-O" and took a small step out from behind my legs, but she was still close enough to dart behind me if needed.
I smirked at her reaction; the kid is addicted to that stuff.
"What kind of Jell-O?" She asked curiously, almost as if he had the wrong kind, she just couldn't be friends with him. The thought made me chuckle.
"Orange," he stated simply as he shrugged his shoulder.
She gasped as she ran to his side, "That's my favorite! Hi, I'm Avery," she said as she completely forgot about us, you know, the people who clothed, fed, and loved her for the past six years of her life, totally breaking our hearts as she took the small boys hand and started up the steps of the bus not even bothering to say good bye.
Just like that she had sold her soul for some Jell-O.
Yup, she's definitely her mother's daughter.
Out of the corner of my eye I watched Fang's face fall as his baby girl ran onto the bus without even saying goodbye to her parents. He'd never admit it, but parenthood had made him soft, if you thought Angel was bad you should see him with Avery. She had him wrapped around her little finger and she damn well knew it.
My baby. I'm so proud.
We stood there with the rest of the parents as we waited for our first born to be taken off to her first day of school, a truly traumatizing day for all us parents. Just as the bus was about to pull away a window slid down and the adorable face of our daughter popped out as she chirped happily, all fear wiped away from her face, "BYE MOMMY BYE DADDY! I Wove you!"
As we gazed into the open widow we saw our daughter sitting with Cameron, sharing a Jell-O cup; a friendship forming before our eyes.
I turned to look at Fang with a knowing smirk before realization struck him, to which he completely shut down.
"No!" He nearly screamed as he turned to stomp down the sidewalk back home, "No, absolutely not! That's it, we are moving! I'm sending her to an all girls' school! We are not doing this again."
I smirked as I quickened my pace to catch up to my husband, "Aw come on Fang it turned out pretty well for us." I mocked, fully enjoying this.
He shook his head sternly, his protective father gene kicking in, "I don't care, I'm quitting my job and I'm going to home school her." I snickered as I heard him murmur, "Not my baby girl."
I raised my eyebrow skeptically as I pulled on his arm, brining him to a halt, "Fang, are you really gunna go there? Do you really want out child to be one of those anti social home school freaks? Do you want our baby girl to turn out to be as mentally disturbed as Iggy?" I questioned.
He stuttered at the thought.
"But," He began dejectedly before I cut him off, looping my arm around his waist as we began our walk back home.
"Hey, everything will turn out alright. The Universe can't be that PMSy." I smirked as I attempted to reassure him, but in all honesty I found this hysterical.
"Oh, I think we found out that it indeed can, Max." He hissed as his lips furled into a thin line.
Obviously he didn't find this nearly as amusing as I did. What a shame.
"Oh, come on Fang. The Universe just wants to be noticed. Plus, I'm sure it's already had its fill of enjoyment by torturing us."
I continued smirking as he grumbled in response, his tone still sour.
We walked in a comfortable silence, Fang's mood slowly becoming more pleasant as we walked. When we were about two minutes from our home we noticed a familiar couple trailing not too far behind us.
As we turned down our street, the couple caught up to us and was now walking side by side next to us.
I was attempting to figure out who these two people were when the women who looked about my age spoke up.
"Um, hello. My name is Maya and this is my husband Holden Hagen. We noticed our son, Cameron, seemed to have formed a little friendship with your daughter. We just wanted to introduce ourselves." She chirped as she offered us a friendly smile.
I smiled brightly back as I turned to respond with an introduction of our own.
"Hi," I chirped as I couldn't fight the smile spreading across my face, "I'm Max and this is my husband Fang Walker. Our daughter is Avery."
We watched happily as our husbands greeted each other with a manly head nod and a firm hand shake.
"Well we just wanted to introduce ourselves. We live just down this street second to last house on the left." Maya informed us warmly as she gestured down our street.
"Oh, okay awesome, we live just a few houses up from you then." I answered still smiling as the wheels began churning in my head.
"Oh, okay. Well if the kids ever want to have any play dates they are welcome to at our house or whatever. We are kinda new at this parenting thing. He's our first." She admitted a bit embarrassed.
I smiled warmly at this, "Oh no worries, so are we. I thought I might have had a mental break down watching my baby go off to school today." I admitted as I gave Fang a small side hug to which he returned.
"Oh. Good to know we weren't the only ones." She smiled before speaking again, "Oh hey, if you'd like we could come up with a pick up schedule. I could pick up the kids from the bust stop every other day or something and they could spend a little while together if they'd like or I could drop Avery off." She suggested.
"Oh, I bet they would love that. That sounds great to me. I could pick them up on the other days." I suggested as I turned to face Fang, "Babe, is that alright?"
He shrugged as we continued to walk together, "Yeah, I think it's a great idea." He admitted, although I caught him mumbling under his breath, "as long as he doesn't get any ideas about my baby girl."
I bit my lips to prevent myself from smirking as I shoved his to the side a bit.
"Oh good!" Maya exclaimed, "I'm so glad we have some friends to go through this together with."
"Yeah, us too." I smiled warmly at her, feeling like we'd already been friends for years.
"Who knows, maybe our kids will end up falling for each other and get married." She joked as he husband laughed. "Oh God, what are the odds of that?" She asked rhetorically as Fang's posture became ridged.
I snickered to myself as I shared an amused look with Fang, who looked like he was going to be sick before glancing back at Maya and Holden.
"Oh, I think the odds are greater than you think." I stated knowingly as we reached out driveway.
"Well, this is us. It was great meeting you." I added sincerely as we halted in front of our mail box.
"Oh yeah, same to you." She chirped before we exchanged numbers and promised to work out a schedule.
After biding our last goodbyes, Fang and I retreated into the comfort of our home. Trying his best to cope with his empty nest syndrome, Fang collapsed on the coach, sprawling out and covering his face with a pillow.
I chuckled at him before flicking his ear as I passed. He swatted the air as I passed but didn't make a move to get up until he noticed my fumbling around the house in search of something.
"Babe," he called as his eyebrows furled in confusion as he watched me quickly open and close cabinets, "What are you looking for?"
I smirked to myself as I gave him an offhanded flick of the wrist dismissing him, answering him in a nonchalant manor, "Oh nothing, I'm just looking for a spare scrapbook."
He perked up at this, eyes narrowing at me as I fought back a giggle.
"Well, I can't seem to find one. I'll be back, I'm going to go to the craft store to pick one up." I called out to him over my shoulder as I moved to exit the house.
Quickly he got to his feet and successfully blocked my way from exiting as he gave me a defiant and playful look.
"Oh no, you're not!" He challenged me as I made a move to go around him and exit from the back door. He quickly sprinted after me, successfully catching up to me, grabbing me by the waist and slinging me over his shoulder as I squealed, acting as if we were still teenagers.
"FANG!" I screeched as a bubble of laughter escaped my lips, "Put me down right now." I demanded as he made no move to put me down.
He chuckled darkly as he carried me to our bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him.
"Oh no," He chuckled deeply as I squealed; "I have plans for you, Mrs. Walker."
I giggled childishly as he dropped me, gently, down on our bed before he kicked off his shoes to join me. Grinning seductively, he crawled over top of my frame and I couldn't help the giggle of excitement that escaped my lips as he made his way up my body.
"Now," He taunted as he brought his lips dangerously close to my pulse point, his warm breath tickling my skin, "What where you going to do again?"
He smirked as I tried, and failed, to suppress a shutter that wracked through my body.
I tried desperately to respond with a witty and sarcastic comment to knock his ego down a few levels but my mind seemed to be fried at the moment and I couldn't come up with any coherent thoughts.
All I could think about his Fang, hovering over me and all the possibilities it could lead too.
He smirked triumphantly as I failed to come up with a response.
"Yeah," he whispered seductively, "That's what I thought."
He crashed my lips down on mine, his tongue slowly tracing my bottom lip, demanding entrance. We continued to kiss passionately as I turned to flip us over, reversing out roles.
Let's just say the scrapbook was put on hold for the time being- I had much more enjoyable things to do.
And it was at that very moment, as I stared into my husband's loving, yet playful, eyes, that it all made sense to me. The Universe did not hate me, no quite the opposite actually, it was just trying to help me realize my fate.
All it wanted was to be noticed.