Monday, September 21, 2009

Childhood Notions

I rode the school bus to school for 6 years. Man, did I hate every minute of it. We had assigned seats, and mine was in between a 5th grader who, to me, looked 16, as she towered over my tiny frame that a friend of my mom's who taught kindergarten once described as "The smallest kindergartner" she'd ever seen, and an overweight 1st grader named Kyle who liked to pinch me for no good reason. My bus driver was one of the unhappiest, or at least angriest people I can ever remember encountering. Everyday, her voice would bellow throughout the bus full of rowdy K-5 students, as she recited her mantra... "Shut up, sit down, turn around, and face the front."

This only begins to describe the terrors that the yellow monster brought for me, but I figured out a way to escape. I figured if I had to be physically on the bus, I'd do my best to take my mind elsewhere. I'd stare out the window and dream a vivid day dream that I still remember to this day- and really in a roundabout kind of way, relates to my notions of success. I'd dream of being a bus driver, that defied everything I knew about bus drivers. I planned to take the job with pride and love for every child on that bus. I'd buy Barbies & Hotwheels, and whatever action figure the kids most desired in bulk, along with candy and treats, and everyday I'd throw them down the aisles, and smile as the kids on MY bus, smiled back. That was my childhood notion of success. Just to drive a bus, and have a happy time with the kids. Nothing more & nothing less.


  1. I related to your post as I was also terrorized on the bus.
    I also like what you wrote about your dreams of being a bus driver. You took a positive outlook out of a negative circumstance by desiring change.

  2. i hated riding the bus. one time i threw up on one and it was never the same for me. i would love to have you as my bus driver though if you bought barbies and hot wheels.

  3. Ha, I so appreciate that you think I would have made a good bus driver! :) Thank you for the comments guys.

  4. Such a healthy response! (And now I'm feeling grateful that my kid won't ride the bus, and reliving my own bus-related horrors.) Would that more bus drivers would take the make-'em-love-me approach.