Fascination with the bus started on the first day of kindergarten last year. Every day after I’d waited in the car line thirty minutes to pick him up, the first thing out of Jackson’s mouth as he climbed in and shucked his backpack would be “Mommy, when can I ride the bus?”
Ah, the bus. The magical transportation option where seats are gold plated and lollipops rain from the ceiling as you float down the street and get deposited on your doorstep. Nevermind when the shiny wears off and reality dictates there’s no food, drink, or removing items from your backpack, and you’ll be riding home without air conditioning. In spite of my warnings, he still wanted to ride and when I realized he could be home a few minutes sooner every day, I finally agreed. But only to the afternoon bus. Because you cannot even imagine how fried we’d all be if I had to get him up at 5:30 every day to meet the morning bus.
So, the first day was a little rough. Who am I kidding? We can’t premiere anything without due drama and the bus ride certainly delivered. He had to ride once in the morning so the driver would know where to drop him off in the afternoon. So all four of us stood at the end of our driveway at 6:00 AM and saw him off. The bus driver handed me an information sheet with her email address and instructions to please not hesitate if I had any questions. Then I watched her drive off with her precious cargo.
I would certainly have sat around all day and freaked. completely. out. if I had not already arranged for his teacher to contact me when he got there alright. For good measure I also emailed the bus driver a few times, soaking up every insider tidbit I could about his first bus ride. Everyone reported the same. He did great.
Just as I’d finally started to relax a little bit, I got another email from the bus driver saying she had a family emergency and there would be a substitute driver that afternoon. And would I please stand at the top of the driveway so the new girl would know where to stop?
Not really the kind of thing the mother of a first time bus rider wants to hear on the first day. But okay.
When school let out I was already standing outside. If I’d been smart I would have considered that a sub would be slower at the bus route than the normal driver. I might have saved myself from standing in the sun for thirty minutes. But since I decided to be out there ridiculously early, I began to melt into a puddle on the driveway, and then I decided to find some shade closer to the house.
And as you might have guessed, the bus picked that exact moment to fly right down the street without stopping. Cue me running back up the driveway trying to flag it down and failing miserably. And then speed dialing the school.
“Don’t freak out…. don’t freak out… um, hi, the bus just went past my house without stopping!”
Fortunately they took it pretty seriously and two minutes later the bus had turned around and delivered my child straight to my stressed out self, once again standing at the top of the driveway. Jackson was considerably unconcerned about the incident. I, on the other hand, was back on the computer when Caleb got home that afternoon. He peeked over my shoulder.
“Who are you emailing?”
“The bus driver.”
“Just one more to explain I’m really not as neurotic as it seems.”
“Because nothing says ‘I’m not a basket case’ like five emails in one afternoon.”
Pretty sure that bus will never miss my house again.