I parked my school bus behind our minivan today so I could chat my wife up while she waited for our 9 year old, Josh, to be dismissed from school.  After a bit he comes sauntering towards the minivan, and starts to walk on by, pretending to ignore us as he always does with an evil grin on his face.

“Get in here mister.” I say to him in my best impression of an angry daddy voice, a voice that is undercut by the ear-to-ear smile on my face.

He comes over to the door of the minivan, I slip out of the front seat to head back to my bus, when he wraps his little body around me, head against my chest, holding tightly.

The roar of rushing aggressive drivers,  the dogs across the street barking, the sound of children and parental voices, the patter of rain, even the idling of my diesel bus, just, gone.

I close my eyes and there is darkness and the warmth of his little body, his little hands on my back.

I lay my bearded cheek on top of his hooded head.

Silence.

Everything disappears. 

Nothing left except the feel of his head against my cheek.

I could say what seemed an eternity passed, but time did not exist.

Then he is in the minivan, and the world rushes back in.  I stand for a moment, stunned at the absolute peace I had just experienced, then return to the cacophony of my bus.