31 January 2006

Bus Stop Memories

The other day, the kids' school bus didn't show up so we had to take them to school. We have to travel on part of the bus route to take me to work, so as I was headed away from the school I saw all these kids waiting by the road with worried looks on their faces. It made me think back to my own school bus days.
Our family lived out in the country, the only house at the top of a hill. To catch the school bus, I had to go down our long gravel driveway and stand beside the highway. There were no other stops within my range of vision and I rarely wore a watch, so there were many panicky mornings when I wasn't sure whether I had missed the bus.
Missing the bus wasn't so bad when I was in elementary school; the walk to school was long for a 10-year-old but it was doable. By the time I got to high school, however, that wait was excruciating. Most of my classmates, especially the ones that lived in my area, got their driver's licenses as soon as it was legal (spending the morning at the DMV was considered a birthday treat for a lot of 16-year-olds). There were many cold winter mornings when I stood at the bus stop alone and watched people I knew drive right by me. They weren't my friends so I didn't expect them to offer me a ride; I was more concerned about what they were thinking. Had they seen the bus pass by and knew that I missed it? Would they stop and tell me that I was waiting for nothing, or would they just laugh at me and tell their friends how stupid I looked standing at the end of the road?
As we traveled along the kids' bus route the other morning, I wanted to stop and tell each kid that the bus had broken down and another was on the way. Luckily, all the kids I saw were either standing directly in front of their houses or their parents were waiting with them at the bus stop. Realizing that they were all going to be fine made me glad that ABM insisted we live in a subdivision; our kids will have their friends and classmates to laugh with them during minor inconveniences like these.
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