Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ghetto Bus Driver Lady

Back in May, Roy and I decided that we found the house we want and we are going to buy it. Actually, I decided this in March but I’ll pretend that this was *our* decision. So, I packed up everything in the house that I was not going to need in the near future so we could put the house up for sale. I scrubbed and cleaned, re-grouted the kitchen floor, spackled and filled holes, sanded, painted and had a daily bon fire going in my backyard. I burned up everything I thought the thrift store didn’t want and I didn’t need in the next 3 months. The poor tree in the neighbors back yard that hangs over our fence looks like a monster took a big bite out of the bottom of it. I covered up my enormous fire pit with sand. I hope the new owners don’t dig too deep!

Well, it turns out that it is impossible to show a house with 10 people living in it. Roy replaced Ben’s bedroom door that had an infinite number of holes of all shape and sizes. Within 2 weeks, my precious little man kicked a hole in it. The grout in the kitchen started to collect syrup and various liquids that are hardly ever clear, shiny water. Two kids went through the ceiling from the attic to the kitchen. The toilet came loose for no particular reason….and on and on. Now we have to resort to Plan B! We just have to be out of this house if we are going to show it. Asking my parents if we could move in only brought about laughter for a while until honest and goodness fear set in. Plan B is a no-go. On to our current Plan C which is to move into our new home and then fix this one up to sell it. Guess what that means? We will be owning 2 houses at the same time! We are very, very blessed to be in the position to own them both but as spoiled as I am, I do not like to be strapped for money. At one time, I worked for the Royal’s and Chief’s games in the concession stand. I enjoyed it but I was gone for nearly 6-7 hours with each game. That is a long time to be away from my family. After about 3 hours, I would have an aching feeling of remorse and guilt for being gone so long. I decided not to continue. I really wanted a job that would take me out of the home but not be gone any longer than 3 hours at a time. Yes, I needed to be out of the home. There is no home business on the planet that I can accomplish in the home without constant interruptions. My “3 hour” job would turn into 8-10 hours! I gave up on the idea that this kind of job was out there. 

My good friend and fellow homeschool mom, Ana, became a bus driver. She didn’t have too many nice things to say about it but it all sounded lovely to meJ All I wanted to hear is “2-3 hours in the morning” and “money”. Nothing else mattered. Lol. SO, off I went to Durham Bus Transportation on Grandview Rd. I walked in the front doors, took my 200 test full of weird questions and got hired. I am very observant when I need to be. I took a good look at everyone that worked there. I was a little worried. My first impression of my future fellow co-workers were not that great. I did not feel like I belonged there. I nudged forward, took my classes, got trained on the bus and got my license. My trainers were wonderful. They knew the bus and the rules and they genuinely cared about safety and I feel like they genuinely cared about me.
I was given bus #7. That is the covenant number. The perfect number! God's number. He loves me!!

I am very blessed to only have a morning route. I leave at 5:50am and I’m home by 9:30. Since the first day of school was a ½ day, I volunteered to pick the kids up from school too (the afternoon bus driver was not available). WOW!!! I am NEVER, EVER, EVER doing that again!! To make this short and sweet, the kids were RUDE!! Ok, forget that I said “sweet”. I don’t mean loud and not listening or following the rules. I mean, I was treated with more disrespect than I had ever experienced in my life. Every kid wanted to be dropped off at their front door and every kid wanted to be dropped off first and it seemed like they have never NOT gotten what they wanted when they wanted it with a big cherry on top. Me and my rose colored glasses actually believed that this only happened on TV and movies. But nope! What happens on the bus in TV and movies actually happens in real life. SOOO, that was the last day I ever worked in the afternoon. No thank you!!!!

Now for the good news….they are all dead tired in the morningJ!!!! Yeah! They are probably dead tired from all the torture they are giving their afternoon bus driver. Its not my problem nowJ After my experience with picking them up from school, I went to Adoration and Benediction at my church. I prayed for my students and asked God to protect them from the wickedness and snares of the devil. I then filled up my Holy Water bottle and I was ready for the next day. I sprinkled Holy Water on every seat and said the St. Michael prayer 3 times to protect my students from harm with a small extra prayer to keep them tired and quiet for me. I say this prayer every day on the bus. If nothing else, my prayer life has improved.

It has been 2 weeks now. In that 2 weeks, I have said “Hi” or “Good morning” to every person who has gotten on the bus. On the first day, one young man said “hi” and no one else. No one. Not one kid out of the 115. 2 weeks later, nearly everyone (except the 2 girls that I wrote up) either look at me and grunt or nod or actually speaks a “Hi” or “Good Morning” to me. I am seeing some progress.

Do I like driving the bus you ask? Well, first, thanks for askingJ And second, I LOVE driving the bus! I feel powerful. I get to have the biggest bus on the lot, an 87 passenger snub nose bus. The tires are behind me so I can maneuver around corners with my front end going over the curbs and ditches. I freak out a couple girls in the front seat on one particular turn and I love it. I feel like I have skill. I also enjoy driving the bus because I know I can be a friendly and consistent face that all of the students can begin their day with. I am not influenced by their rudeness they harbor until the end of the afternoon.  
I wish I could talk every anti-homeschooling person into driving a bus for just a week. Its all I ask. Then, I will forgive you. There is no need to beg for mercy.
On the flip side, to every one of my fine friends out there.... Although we teach our children and believe ourselves that everyone has dignity, deserves respect and is made in the image of likeness of God, being a bus driver will put you to the test. I am so glad I took this test because I could see that I was no where close to where I needed to be.  I need to pray and beg for God to give me the gift to see everyone the way He see's them.