Little Stuff – Bits and Pieces of Life on the School Bus

busIt was a lovely sunny day and the leaves on the trees are about to burst.  The birds are busy with nests and people are out working in their yards.  It was a pretty good day for me on the whole, with only a few small glitches.  Here’s the run down of some of the happier parts.  The school bus run.  .

I drove school bus today so had to be up to waken the birds.  The kids I’ve had on this supply route for the past three weeks are a pretty good bunch.

One eight year old seems to have “ants in his pants” and has to be reminded about 20 times in the 30 minutes he is on the bus to sit down.

A little girl likes to take other people’s things to look at and then won’t give them back.  When they demand the return of their item she turn on tears and wails as if she has been tortured.

A few who were closer to the front this morning noticed the messy demise of a rabbit on the road.  I had to be careful not to run over it so as not to deepen their trauma.  I remember how horrible I used to feel for animals on the road.  Who am I kidding?  I still do.  Raccoons and rabbits don’t bother me so much but deer, cats and dogs are very upsetting.

One of the older kids likes to have conversations with me when he gets on the bus.  He is sweet though not very socially adept and takes some ribbing (aka bullying from some other kids on a different bus).  His temper flairs and I worry that kind heart will be in trouble some day because of that fury.  I told him tonight when we parted for the last time to watch his temper and follow his dreams.  He has big ones.  Hope he makes it.

One student on the bus is somewhat of a local celebrity and it’s easy to see she is also well liked and looked up to by the other kids.  So she should be but it’s nice to see that she is just an ordinary kid too and not affected by her fame.

There is some sadness on the bus.  One little girl moved in the past two weeks.  She doesn’t say anything but the circumstances I see lead me to believe it involved a family break down.  She has great sadness in her eyes.

One of the great delights on the bus is a little guy who has some learning issues.  He is not very verbal and his communication is limited to a few words and gestures.  Today he gave me a candy and was thrilled that I was so thankful for it.  He laughs often and makes everyone smile.  His brother and sister make my heart warm with their love and respect for him.  They are so good to him.

Most of the kids are very sweet and happily share their good morning and good evening greetings.  A couple are too shy to say much at all.

There are young girls who are experimenting with fashion and it is fun to see what they may show up in next and what colour their hair will be this week.  There are boys who are awkward and trip over their feet when they get on the bus.  A couple are so busy watching their feet that I haven’t seen their eyes in three weeks.  But then it might be hard to see their eyes anyway ’cause they do this comb the hair over your eyes thing.  Young versions of Donald Trump “comb over” except theirs go all the way to their noses.

Always there are the quiet ones who hardly get noticed.  It takes a long time to get to know their names because I don’t have to yell at them.  One has been my hero the past two days.  He gets off close to the end of the ride and has put all the windows up for me before he departs.  It saves me time and he likes doing things to please.  I think his sister finally spoke to me for the first time yesterday – painfully shy.

The young ones are a bit rowdy but I think I prefer that to the older ones who sit looking down at their phones with ear buds in for the whole trip.  It is so easy to be unsociable when you live on social media.  If evolution is truth then the next generation will be born with their necks bent down.

It is likely a good thing I don’t have a full time bus run.  I would get so attached to them.  It was hard to say goodbye today after only three weeks.  I’ll miss them and I will wonder what happens to them in life.

PS One day out of frustration with life as a school bus driver I started a Facebook page for bus drivers.  If you would like to take a look at Blunder Bus feel free.

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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, I work as an "Associate Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and soon to be, 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 20 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. My own passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director. I am studying with the Ontario Jubilee Program. This new field I believe puts all my talents with people into one place which and may​ become something I can continue into retirement. Supporting people is what I do best. 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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