"Really?" I asked, relieved. This was news to me, as I'd thought the bus ride was a necessary evil making his already long day longer.
"What's your favorite thing about riding the bus?" I asked him. No big surprise: he likes seeing the stop sign come out, looking to see if they're going to cross railroad tracks, and noticing the way some of the school buses in the line have round lights, but a few have square ones. I asked if he talked to any kids, and I got a matter-of-fact, "Noooo. I'm too busy watching." As in watching the stop sign go in and out.
But there's something else. I learned this the second day of school, when he came in the house singing something under his breath. "What's that?" I asked him.
"They were singing it on the back of the bus." He suddenly squirmed nervously. "There's a part that you're not going to like, I just know it. It has potty words."
Take that, those who think people on the spectrum can't see from another person's point of view.
Now I was definitely intrigued. "How does it go?" I asked. He murmured something to the effect of
Sing it twice
It's been two weeks, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still nervous about what Ethan might pick up on the bus (I can only remember bigger kids when I was young, screaming Twister Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" at the top of their lungs but adding the "sh" onto the word "It"). I'd still love if he'd talk to someone once in a while rather than gazing at signs and lights.
Yet, he may not be slapping hands and singing, but he's listening. He's learning something inconsequential but sweet, something that most kids learn. Maybe, he's making a memory.