Special Needs Kids

Special heartsAs a supply school bus driver I get ’em all.  The big kids, little kids, poor and rich, happy, grumpy, noisy, quiet…and on and on. Generally speaking the kids on the bus are pretty good.  There have been a couple of buses I wouldn’t really want to drive again because the children showed no respect for the rules or each other but I venture to say that is not entirely their fault.  Usually, given limits, children and adults are happy to live within the rules of common courtesy.

This week, for me in my personal life. it was an emotional roller coaster.  Things were not going well and I would have dreaded the early mornings in the cold except the children who were my charges this week brought me special joy and actually turned out to be the bright lights of each day.  They kept me laughing and smiling.

I guess that is why they call them “special” kids.  They may not be the brightest kids in the school but for my money they are the best.

This morning, one sweet little girl who some might think is almost non communicative, lifted her head when I called her “Sunshine” and  I thought her smile would melt my heart.  When the boys in the back were able to make a joke on me we all roared with laughter and I’m quite sure it will be recounted tomorrow with more laughter.

They are the most courteous of all the children I transport.  There is always a “thank you” even it is only an unidentifiable  grunt,  They never complain about their day, or the weather, and the kindness they extend to one another is honest and pure.

I am equally  impressed with their parents.  Raising a child with special needs is not an easy thing but the love and respect they show to their children is admirable.  Most of them make the effort to accompany their kids to the bus or are at least near the door and the calls of “I love you bud”, and “Have a wonderful day” are sprinkled with care and compassion.  The parents also make a special effort to be courteous and kind to the driver.

At the other end of the bus ride are the teachers, and while we don’t see much of them, the joy in the hearts of the children when they get back on in the afternoon makes it clear the teachers also have shown them love and respect.

I want to send a big February Valentine to all the special needs kids, their parents and the teachers. When I went to school all the “special needs” kids (not called that then) were locked away or kept at home.  There was no opportunity for interaction.  Our loss I’m sure.

Thanks for making my week a sweet one!


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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