Do you remember your last day of high school? What a thrill it was. A day filled with mixed emotions about leaving life long friends and embarking on a whole new world of friendships and adventures. There was even some anticipation, perhaps worry, for those who still faced final exams and for those who didn’t know what the next steps would hold.
Today is the final day of classes for the grade 12 students who have been riding my bus all year. Some of them I’ve had for two years since I started this run and I will miss them. It has been fun watching them mature over two years. We will have cold pop and cupcakes and each one will get a card and a balloon from me. (I might even get a hug though I can’t tell the boss because we aren’t allowed to touch the children.)
I’m always surprised how much I come to love them and care for them. I spend over 400 hours a year with these children and while some of them don’t have a clue where I live or anything about my life I eavesdrop on their lives every day. They talk about things on the bus that they shouldn’t. They think I’m deaf. I hear about struggles at home, their sex lives, their drug habits. I know the movies they like and the music they like and even though mine wear uniforms, I have a pretty good idea of their style of dress. I know what makes them angry and the things they look forward to. I know their fears and their fantasies.
Today is the beginning of a whole new life for the six grads I have. They will wander off into the world and I will likely never hear from them again though I’d love to know where they go. I will wish them the very best and send them off with the words of Dr. Seuss’s. If I could buy each one a copy of this book I would but that’s just not in the bus driver budget. So here it is for you Amanda, Hunter, Sam, Jason, Donald and Michael. “Oh the Places You Will Go“. Love and blessings to you all.