As 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!