Author’s Note: I am a stay at home mother who happens to hold a part time job. That job is bus driving. I drive an elementary route and a junior high route. As you can probably imagine, some amazing and funny events have transpired over the last few years one of which I’ve written below. Names have been changed to protect…well, basically, to protect me and my job.
Two days ago during my morning run the skies were a blue gray color that makes the other colors appear intense - emerald green grass, dark brown trees, and an incredible bounty of colors along the road from flowers blooming, light filtering through the clouds as the sun rose. And there strutting among the flowers by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere was a magnificent male peacock with his tail spread proudly. What a great way to begin the day.
During my afternoon elementary run, my 5th graders board last and the last couple 5th graders got on carting a computer and all its components. One carried the monitor (power cord dragging on the ground, the next boy carted the CPU under his arm, while the next kid had cords and keyboard sticking out of his backpack and dragging behind him and finally, one carried the printer under his arm. Now I ask you - what parent allows their child to cart around a computer like it's pieces of sports equipment? Is it me? Am I being unreasonable? Why didn't the teachers tell him or his parents, that's really not an appropriate item to bring to school and take home to his friend's house much less on a bus? Since the child didn't ride in the morning, his parent must have dropped him off at school with a whole computer, not protected in any way. Pfft!
My 8th graders have invented a new form of entertainment in the afternoon. They're pretending that the bus ride is a roller coaster ride. Ooooooh, up hill. Aaaaaah (loudly) down hill. On curves they scream and yell stuff like, "We're gonna dieeee." They crack me up.
Today I had to tell a 7th grade boy to settle down. You all remember junior high, right? Have mouth and willing to use it, ain't got no sense? So Joshua, feeling the need for a bit of defiance flicked me off just as I looked in the mirror towards him. I stopped the bus, made him come to the front while all his friends hooted and hollered and told him he just became my new best friend. He spent the next few minutes telling me, "I didn't do nothin'." and "It's not fair." I told him that his do nothin' just bought him a front seat until I was done being annoyed and I wouldn't be done being annoyed until he had a better attitude and an apology.
On my bus, attitude counts for a lot and my kids catch on right away that sincere apologies are always accepted since that means they're acknowledging what they've done. Usually I can out patience them but I think this kid's gonna be tough. He'll board tomorrow morning and try to sit in back. I'll remind him he has to sit in front with the 6th graders. He'll pitch a fit and I'll explain for the 19th time that when he behaves himself with dignity and treats me that way too, I'll be happy to let him move back. We'll see.
Yesterday on the news, I heard a story about the ASPCA raiding two houses and rescuing over 40 cats. The ASPCA worker proudly informed the news reporter that the cats' health wasn't distressed yet but in this case, they were able to step in and prevent that from happening. That's what they're there for.
I happen to know that animals picked up by the ASPCA are put to sleep within three days. Don't you think those 40 cats would much rather stay in the messy, but not unhealthy environment, AND LIVE?
Today my husband called me on his cell phone to describe a horrible accident that happened on the highway a ways in front of him. The accident involved cars and a semi-truck that flipped over and exploded. Yes, I am sad about the accident, but the point of this bit of information is that stuff happens wherever my husband happens to be. He’s that kind of guy.
A few months ago, he was driving home on a busy road and a truck ran off the road, soared through the air and flipped upside down in a field. He rammed on his emergency brake, grabbed his fire extinguisher and cell phone and ran madly across the field. Yelling at the guy to stay still (he’d been thrown out of the truck), he threw his cell over his shoulder and said, “Call 911” while he checked the truck to make sure it wasn’t burning. It wasn’t, but when he turned around, he discovered no one else had stopped. A few years ago he drove through Taco Bell and the lady taking the order was acting funny. He looked into the store to witness the store being robbed at gunpoint. Once he set out to meet me at work for lunch. We didn’t live far from my work but I had the car so he was walking. Thirteen times he was stopped by police, made to show ID and patted down. The bank a block away had been robbed and he fit the description of the robber. Stuff happens wherever he is.
Yesterday, we had some excitement in my neighborhood and if I knew where the dumb criminal list was compiled, I’d submit this story. Seems one of the folks on a street a few blocks away has a gambling problem. Wife gone, kids gone, dog missing, house in foreclosure. Major gambling problem. So he decided to rob his neighbor. Yeah, that’ll fix all his problems. The only drawback being that his neighbor’s house has an alarm, which went off when he broke the back window. So you’re wondering how I know this information? I live in a small town and apparently, it was a slow day at the cop shop. Bloodhounds were called and then ran right from the neighbor’s house to the gambler’s house who was soon led away in handcuffs. Guess he doesn’t have to worry about gambling woes now.
Two years ago Tropical Storm Alison hit and caused over a billion dollars damage. The rest of the country was fine. Today a tornado touched down in Denver. I didn't think tornadoes hit in Colorado. People are experiencing tornadoes, storms, and flooding across the country and all I am is hot. Do I feel guilty? No, but I've stopped complaining about higher than usual temperatures and I am praying and hoping that the weather traumas pass soon for other parts of the country.
And finally, here's a song that I've known for a long time whose lyrics hit home this week for some reason and have remained in my mind as a source for me to ponder the significance. I thought I'd share. The song is called "Give It Away" by Michael W. Smith.
GIVE IT AWAY
She asked him for forever
And a promise that would last
He said, “Babe, you know I love you,
But I can’t commit to that.”
She said “Love, isn’t love
‘Till you give it away.”
A father lived in silence
Saw his son become a man
There was a distance felt between them
‘Cause he could not understand
That love, isn’t love
‘Till you give it away.
As we live
Moving side by side
May we learn to give
Learn to sacrifice
We can entertain compassion
For a world in need of care
But the road of good intentions
Doesn’t lead to anywhere
‘Cause love, isn’t love
‘Till you give it away
Love is like a river
Flowing down from the giver of life
We drink from the water
And our thirst is not longer denied
There was a man who walked on water
He came to set the people free
He was the ultimate example
Of what love can truly be
‘Cause his love was his life
And he gave it away
You gotta give it away.
Before you e-mail me full of concern, my marriage is fine, kids are fine. I've just been pondering the necessity and ways of showing love beyond the saying.
Love to all. I'm off to watch General Hospital, appreciating my lovely air conditioning.
Want to read more of Kathy's Work?
What Kids Do On The Bus
The Day the Naked Lady Answered the Door
Elvis in Texas
The Air Ukelele Band
Bad Word Therapy
On the Soap Box