Since Drew started elementary school a few years ago, he has almost always been driven to school because Tucker needed to be dropped off at his school right after (and much further away than I - or he - could walk). This is changing this year, and no one is happy about it. Well, I am happy about it, but neither of the boys are.
So yesterday, I posted that the bus drove by on 26th Street as we left, and how bittersweet that was for me. The first year in 9 that we haven't had Connor out at the end of the driveway, ready for the first day of school, was not easy. But we had the excitement of Tucker starting kindergarten to help divert our attention.
So we walk, and they complain, but I know it will get better. It was made easier on the way home through 90+ degree weather by Mrs. Smythers, who distributed popsicles to people (and dyed my kids hands blue - but that's better than wilting children halfway home)!
This morning, the boys lobbied hard for me to drive them to school. No can do, boyos. Get your sneakers on and your backpacks ready! Want to walk up Potomac Street? YES! (Sometimes, incentives are that simple and satisfying). What we weren't expecting was to encounter our neighbors outside waiting for the bus, and us watching it roll right by the street. It's their first year in the system, and their sweet, happy son is headed to school for the first time. I immediately whipped out my phone and dialed the Transportation Department and gave him the phone, as well as the Route number I'd seen yesterday. It took about 10 minutes of talking/holding to get answers, none of which were satisfactory to me, and I was only listening to one half of the conversation. Turns out the bus that went by yesterday shouldn't have gone by at all - it should have gone up a block earlier and picked up a new student. But it didn't.
The boys played with the new student, and once the phone call was done we kept going, though I had to carry/speedwalk with Tucker to school, I managed to get them there on time, but only barely.
Now I'm gathering contacts for our neighbors of advocates so they can ensure that the bus makes it to their home each day as it should.
I can't escape the bus. It feels good though to have this experience I can share with parents who are new to this element of the system. I guess it's one way I can channel the feelings, and give back in a direct fashion.