Monday, April 30, 2012

The Wheels on the Bus...

One of the things that my kids don't get to do because we homeschool is ride on those lovely yellow/orange school buses that take other kids to and from school every day.   When my younger kids figured out, sometime in late fall, that they were missing out on this daily adventure by not attending a public school, they began to clamour to go on a bus ride.

So we did.

The kids were practically hyperventilating with excitement as we climbed onto the bus.  Each of them enthusiastically greeted the bus driver and were undaunted by his less-than-friendly scowl. They positively skipped down the aisle, where we found seats just behind the middle exit door:  Lizzie and I sat together, and the boys wriggled about in the seat across the aisle.  The bus began zipping through city streets.  The kids loved it!

The bus driver did not love us.  It's true that the kids were being a little loud (you may recall that I have a reasonably high tolerance for happy noise) and so we probably irritated him early on.  He glared at me a few times in his huge rearview mirror before I decided to deliberately ignore him and just look out the window.  There were a few other kids on the bus and it wasn't like they were exactly quiet either!

The driver sounded positively furious when he bellowed out on the loudspeaker system: "Whoever is responsible for that child sticking his head out of the window, please take control of him and restrain him!"

I sat gazing peacefully out the window, wondering almost absent-mindedly what schmuck would let his/her kid stick his head out the window of a bus, and I smiled self-righteously as I thought about the inexperience of that parent.  I also felt relieved that it was some other parent who would now experience the bus driver's bad mood; that weight was gone from my shoulders.

It was only when the driver repeated his command, in an even nastier voice I might add, that my self-satisfied smile froze.  I turned, looked across the aisle to where the boys were sitting, and gasped.

Seth was standing on the seat and leaning out of the window.  The entire upper half of his body was hanging outside of the bus...and he's top heavy!  Matthew was gripping Seth's legs, balancing the scales a little, but he was looking frankly a little anxious about his ability to hang on for much longer.  Seth suddenly turned his head towards the front of the bus and, though the window, I could see his profile.  He was laughing, open-mouthed with joy, while the wind rippled through his hair and wrinkled the skin of his cheeks.

I didn't know whether to be horrified that my child was a hair's breath from falling out the window, knowing that I was that schmuck who'd let her kid stick himself out of the window of a moving bus; or whether to rejoice in the fact that my serious little boy with the weight of the world occasionally on his shoulders was experiencing such uninhibited joy.

I stood up, gently hauled him in enough so that his body was just inside the window, told Matthew to hold loosely onto him, and I let Seth stand there with his head flush with the window.  He loved it.

I forgot entirely about the bus driver's nasty looks.  Instead, I was riveted by my little boy's face as he laughed and laughed, standing there in the window.  I wish I'd had a camera with me that day because that was a look I'd like never to forget.


  1. Absolutely LOVE it!! Thanks for the laugh :)