Wednesday, February 20, 2008

hold tight

For any of you who had to ride the bus to school, or send your kids on the school bus, last night's news was hard to take. And today's news of the children that didn't survive brought me to tears.

I can't imagine standing on the corner waiting for the bus, or looking out your window at the bus's normal arrival time, and not seeing it arrive, lights blinking, signaling to you that your son or daughter is home safe again. Even when it is a little late, the anxiety that creeps up on you could consume you with each minute you have to wait.

Two of the boys were brothers, 9 and 13. I am crying just thinking of what that poor mother is going through right now. How nothing makes sense.

I rode the bus all of my school years. I was the first one on in the morning, and the last one off at night (kind of a dumb way to do it, don't you think?) I remember crawling on to the bus in my snowsuit, in kindergarten. I was on the bus a good 45 minutes each way, and the bus driver and I became good buddies, I always sat right behind him. He got to know me, and even gave me a big bag of marbles once that were from his childhood.

One morning we were making the turn to head up the Power Dam Road-I was the only kid on the bus. It was winter, and very slippery. The bus made the turn, then kept going and tipped right over on it's side. It was a slow tipping, so I wasn't badly hurt. The bus driver was strapped in, so he was okay. He helped me crawl out a window, and we walked to a nearby farm for help. And to warm up. As I remember it, they just sent another bus, and we were a little late picking up the rest of the kids. No big deal. I remember going home from school that night, to tell my mom and dad how exciting and scary it was. But that was as close as I ever got to a bus accident.

It seems that every now and then, we receive news that is to be used as a reminder for what is really important.

Every night, after Charlie goes to bed, he calls to me at some point to "come up and snuggle me mom." Sometimes I am in the middle of watching a favorite TV show, or in the middle of a row of knitting, or reading a really good article in a magazine, and I yell "oh Charlie, not right now" or "for crying out loud, you can go to sleep without me coming in there!" Because I have all of these oh-so-important things to take care of, and he would just make me miss them, or postpone them.

Last night he called out to me, for a snuggle, and I practically ran down the hall. Because I could.

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