Next week, my life and my schedule will forever change.
On Wednesday, my oldest, who is five, will start Kindergarten.
I'm excited about it - there will probably be some tears on Wednesday, but he's ready. I'm ready too. It will be exciting to watch him learn how to read, write, and spell.
But it will be a big change for us. Gone are the days of randomly scheduled vacations, late mornings and homework free evenings.
My husband and I will become like millions of other Kentuckians, meaning everything we do will revolve around the school schedule, rigid drop off and pick up times, and extra-curricular activities.
We'll also be like millions of other parents who depend on the bus to transport our little one to and from school safely - and this will be the first time we've ever dealt with that. We'll be depending on a stranger to navigate the roads, manage the riders, watch the other drivers, and bring our little one safely to and from our door.
That's a big job.
In Jefferson County alone, school buses will cover more than 83,000 miles a day, according to a WDRB report - and ridership is up.
That's just in one county.
That's a lot of little ones riding along one county's roadways, crossing bridges, and passing over culverts every single day school is in session.
On Wednesday, I'll join millions of parents as we put our little one on the bus for the first time, praying for a safe trip.
I have the comfort of knowing that the roads my little one will take are mostly safe. His route is less than two miles and he only covers one bridge and one highly congested intersection. There are so many other parents whose children will cover more than 20 miles of roadway each day - crossing multiple bridges, culverts, narrow roadways, and roads in dire need of maintenance.
I feel for those parents. And I feel for those kids. I can only hope that the bridges they cross aren't structurally insufficient and that the maintenance needs aren't so great that they extend the trip or cause an accident.
I hope on Wednesday that all the roads my son - and all the other children - ride on will provide a safe path to school and a safe return home.