As a parent, deciding to put your kids on the big, yellow school bus every day is actually not as easy as it sounds.
When Damon first started school, back in Maryland, he rode the bus to and from school… for a while. At some point, I decided that driving him was easier (and less stressful) for both of us. He hated riding the bus… and I hated wondering when/if he was going to come home each day. Because there always seemed to be SOME kind of bus incident. And when your little pre-Kindergartener isn’t showing up at home on time each afternoon?? That’s mega-stressful. So, I actually preferred driving him to and from school.
When we moved to West Virginia, again, Damon started riding the bus. Here, there is an added stressor because the bus won’t stop at our house. The kids have to walk down to the end of our road to catch the bus. When the weather is cruddy, that’s stressful. When Avery started school, I had to walk them to and from the bus stop because Kindergarteners must have a parent at the bus stop. So, really, it was easier… much easier… for me to drive the kids to and from school. Plus, it gave us more time in the morning (which is always useful!).
But now that Avery is a big first grader, she no longer needs a chaperone to and from the bus stop (her big brother suffices, I guess!). So, this year, I put my foot down and said they were riding the bus. Even though they’d much rather not.
Some mornings I feel mega-Mommy guilt when I send them down the road, bundled against the frigid cold, trudging through the snow and ice… or dodging raindrops the whole way. But, ehh, they’re kids… they’ll be fine. Right??
Today it’s been raining cats and dogs… all day. So this afternoon, I was really glad that I had the car here and could go pick them up at the bus stop, at least. I left the house at 3:25 and drove to the end of the road… the bus usually drops them off around 3:30. And I sat there. And sat there. And sat there some more. Soon it was 3:40 and I still hadn’t seen the yellow school bus, or my children. I was just getting ready to call the school when I finally saw the bus coming up over the hill.
The kids got in the car and I said, “Did you guys have bus troubles today, or what??”
Damon says, “Uh, yeah!! She hit a sign. Then she hit a telephone pole. Then she almost drove us off a cliff!”
Wow. I heard this and kinda shook my head and giggled, thinking surely he’s exaggerating. But then Avery confirmed his story. Apparently the substitute bus driver had serious issues this afternoon!!
So, thank God my kids made it home to me safely, albeit a few minutes late. But, once again, I’m questioning my decision to put them on that bus every day. Their school is only a 1/2 mile from the house… how is it possible for one bus to have so many issues on the way from there to here?? Good grief.