As I mentioned in the fall, this year was a first for bus riding at our house. Last year we were walkers but the move back home also moved us to a neighborhood that has a bus. We were all so excited! I would no longer have to wake Little One so we could pick up his brothers from school. They would be delivered right to our doorstep, almost. But then the time came to put my kids on the bus and I was nervous. I tried really hard to hide my anxieties, which were well founded because I rode a bus most of my childhood, though all the scary and horrible things I did not want them to hear or learn on the bus did not happen until I was in middle school. So my anxieties might have been a little early. But the boys were so excited. So excited that even though I was going to the school on Middle Man's first official day of school for a kindergarten coffee right after drop off, he insisted on riding the bus and I ended up hopping in the car and essentially following them to school because I had to be there when the bell rang. They loved the bus from the first moment. I continued to be a bit nervous but each day, they arrived home safely and the bus driver always had a smile on her face and warm greeting for my kids
I have to be honest. I don't know how she does it. Our bus driver seems so happy to be on a bus full of elementary kids. I can barely handle being in the car with my kids for the five minutes it takes to get to the YMCA. And in my car they are all locked in car seats and booster seats. The bus can be a free for all. But with her in charge it does not seem to be.
She learned all their names in the first week or so and knows which kid goes with which parent. She knows my kids and their personalities. She makes sure I am home and does not just dump and run. Her care for my kids is evident and it makes me feel better, knowing they are in her care. My kids love the bus driver so much that when I asked them about Christmas gifts for the teachers, Middle Man, said right away that he was going to make an ornament for Bus Driver. At which point I felt a little bad that at our house her name was Bus Driver. How did I not know the name of the person who drives my kids to and from school every day. They spend at least 30 minutes on that bus each day. I should know her name. It was way too late in the year to ask her so I did what any embarrassed person who forgot someone's name would do. I called the district transportation office and asked. So we now know her name.
And I know that my son's ornament meant a lot to her. She kept it as she does all the notes and gifts from the kids. I know this because this morning as I was sitting down in Starbucks getting ready to do my Bible Study homework, she walked by. We waved, I took my earbuds out, and we had a conversation. Which is how I found out that our bus driver is a Christian. She was on her way to Bible Study. Truth is, I am not surprised.
They will know we are Christians by our love.