Allow me to introduce myself. I’m your kid’s school bus driver. You see me every day, slowly bouncing down your street in my 40-foot-long, red-light-blinking, stop-sign-swinging, bright yellow chariot full of kids.
Yeah, I went through a whole bunch of training to learn to handle this sunshine-colored beast. But the driving? Pfft. That is the easy part.
You see, I do a whole lot more than just drive that bus.
I am the first person your kid sees when they get out of school. That means I am also usually the first one to hear their exciting (or sometimes upsetting) news. I celebrate their good test scores and comfort them after a rough day. I quiz multiplication problems and spelling words, offer a listening ear when they have big problems, compliment new shoes, and ooh and ahh over school store purchases. And, like any good audience, I always offer a laugh at silly jokes and stories, whether they make any sense or not.
I know your dog’s name, what you made for dinner last night, and the nickname you have for the boss you don’t like (don’t worry, I won’t tell!).
Your kids tell me far more than you would think. And the things they don’t tell me? Well, I am listening for those things too. I consider myself a master eavesdropper. That may not be considered a talent in many professions, but in mine? It is pretty much a necessity. A lot of potential problems are discussed between kids on the bus and can often be brought to the attention of school administration by a listening ear.
I do my best to keep your kids safe every day, even if it involves annoying other drivers (and I know, sometimes annoying you too). I drive slowly, block traffic, and keep my stop sign out just a little bit longer than necessary to make sure our precious cargo is safely across the street. If you aren’t standing at the bus stop waiting for your child like you usually do, I bring them back to the school, just to be on the safe side. I would much rather listen to you complain about having to drive to the school to pick up your kid than hear that something bad had happened to your child after I drove away.
I drive kids from multiple schools and stop at dozens of stops every day. But don’t worry — your child knows they are my favorite kid.
Each and every one of them.
The lady behind the wheel of the Big Yellow Bus
P.S. For real though, please don’t tailgate me or try to pass when my stop sign is out. Keep the kids safe.