Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #37: Missing the Bus (#nonfiction)

missingbus - I was in sixth grade, I had an opportunity to attend a special fall program at another school.  It would have required me to take the bus once a week during regular hours and return to my school before the end of the day.    I was so excited!    My school life had very little joy.  Okay, let’s be honest.   No joy.   Bullies, labeled too smart, being odd, and “teacher’s pet” hung over my head daily.  I hated school; loved learning.    I should’ve had an ulcer.

I had butterflies!    I skipped all the way home.

My mother said no.   No bus rides.

I was morose.  I cried.   I wilted.

My grandparents may have tried to intervene or it might have been my sobbing.  She finally said yes.  I ran all the way to school that Saturday morning.   It was too late.  The school grounds were deserted.   I cried some more and dragged my feet home.   Another student got my spot.   It turned out to be the class bully.  I remember her name; I still hate it.

That summer my teacher volunteered me for a brand new computer program at the school that only had a few bus rides to the city’s college campus.   I begged and fought harder.   They had Commodore Computers with one of those crazy light pens! This time I got a yes (almost too late).   It turned into the best summer.

Looking back, my school years are marked by a lot of missed buses.   Kids stopped inviting me to parties, sleepovers, and to their houses to play because I often had to say no.  A chance to learn to ski passed.   I couldn’t accept rides even in the rain or cold from even a mom I’d known for years.  I got in trouble once for riding a friend’s bike — Cindy.  Embarrassed, I never went to her house again.   Some rules I had to follow made me stick out, too.     I spent more and more time stepping away from opportunities.  It wasn’t worth the effort to fail or have to say no.

I quit learning the saxophone in elementary school to escape being teased mercilessly.   I got into so much trouble!   In my mind, it was better than the stalking and daily threats of an ass-kicking by the class bully who had been in every single one of my classes since first grade!     I gave up a chance to speak at a televised event that same year because I was terrified of sticking out.   Head down; blend in.     Except Brownies at the local church.  I quit that because they had us making stupid craft-crap like feather dusters.   Feather.  Dusters.    Even at age eight I knew that was wrong on so many levels.

By the time I got to High School, I stopped joining clubs or trying at all.  I didn’t date and rarely socialized outside a small circle.   No Senior Prom.     I wanted to join Drama club but didn’t.    I ended up on the Year Book committee and typed an enormous amount of material, but I missed the photo day; I am not pictured with the other staff.

How did I end up with kids that are go-getters and social powerhouses?

I worry.  I worry something will quell their enthusiasm.

I worry it might be me.

My daughter wanted to ride the bus to Kindergarten this year.    I told her I wasn’t ready because I wanted to see her bound into the school the way I did my first year.    I promised us both, though, that for first grade she would ride the bus.  We have a plan for future slumber party sleep-overs, and my daughter had her first “other mom” play date to an art class not long ago — without me.  I am prepared to have a harder time letting my four-year-old son stretch his wings, but I will survive.

I might need to eat a lot of ice cream. And Swedish Fish.

I’m set in my ways, but I’ve tried over the years to not miss a bus when they come around.   I’m not always successful.   I will make sure, though, that my babies get on or chase it down and jump on the back doors if they have to.

“Hey! Don’t forget your helmet!”

7 comments on “Yeah Write #37: Missing the Bus (#nonfiction)

  1. Marcy
    April 6, 2016

    That’s one of the things I loved about raising children, the chance to give them the opportunities that I didn’t have. I liked your reminder about the helmet at the end 🙂


  2. PryvateLisa
    April 7, 2016

    It’s true, we do live through our kids don’t we? Such a sweet piece. Made me smile.


  3. d3athlily
    April 7, 2016

    Ohhh that sounds so familiar to me. Bullied, a bit strange, loved learning but hated school and had a couple of overprotective parents. I’m sure your daughter won’t be in the same position, though!


  4. Donna-Louise Bishop
    April 7, 2016

    It sounds like you’re doing an awesome job to me. I love the missing bus details throughout this piece. It brings it together really nicely.


  5. Natalie DeYoung
    April 7, 2016

    Agh, growing up’s a nightmare. I was bullied, too, and I remember it well.
    I like how you connected those memories to the now and how you are raising your own child.


  6. Michael
    April 7, 2016

    I was homeschooled, so buses weren’t really a thing, but when I have kids, I definitely want them to ride one. This was an awesome piece. 🙂


  7. Meg
    April 7, 2016

    Always interesting to see how we turn out after these experiences. Sounds like you’re giving your child a broader world.


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This entry was posted on April 6, 2016 by in attachment parenting, kids, life, musings, parenting, Yeah Write and tagged , , , , .

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