This is my first time at this, and I’m surprised at how nervous I am. I don’t like to think of myself as an overly-anxious parent, you know? So, please don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job. I certainly don’t appreciate when people try to tell me how to do mine. But I just want you to know, up front, that when you pull away from the end of my block today you’ll be taking my heart with you.
I’ve pictured the yellow rear-end of the school bus pulling away from the curb so many times this summer. And each time makes my eyes water and my mouth turn down. This kid, my son, is so excited to ride the bus to school. So excited. But he’s also nervous and worried about finding his class and about rough kids sitting next to him and about whether someone will make fun of the t-shirt he picked out for his first day of kindergarten. I don’t want him to get special attention, not more than anyone else’s child, but could you do me a favor and give him a grin and a “Good Morning!” when he gets on the bus? I’m sure you would do that anyway, but it’s my first time at this, and I don’t know.
I do know that you have a schedule to keep and scores of children to drive around all morning. It’s not an easy job, and I know how other drivers are around here. But you should know that I get nervous even when my own parents are driving my son around. I haven’t even let him ride in a car driven by trusted friends. Heck, I get nervous driving around myself with the way people chat on phones and race through lights. And I want you to know that I am trusting you to bring my son, my heart, to his first day of school safely and on-time to start kindergarten.
And, no. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but I know how horrible kids can be sometimes. I know how mean and vicious and ugly they can be. And that’s what we all remember more easily. I know that. But that’s not my kid – and with any luck it won’t ever be. So please, School Bus Driver, when you open the doors of your bus to let my heart climb up those big steps and sit in a seat that’s two sizes too large, please don’t mind the frowning, teary-eyed lady who looks like she is about to implode. Just be careful with her heart – disguised as a five-year-old boy.
Thank you, and have a great start to the school year!
~ A Mother