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The Buses Rally

Tommy is off to school. Posted by Picasa

Tommy’s bus arrives at 7:10am. Last year the bus and Tommy were very much in sync. As the year went on Tommy would be more and more difficult to wake giving himself less time to prepare. Often he would go to school without breakfast. We tried sending him with a poptart on the bus but it seemed like too much of a reward plus he makes such a mess that he’d have food all over him, his face and the bus. Ironically as his wake time became later and later so did the arrival time of the bus eventually moving from 7:10 to 8:00.

Noah’s bus arrives at 7:22am. I spent 3 years fighting to get the bus off of Northshore Drive, a busy 45mph road frequently traveled at much higher speeds. Last year the street sign marking their offical bus stop was knocked down by an out of control driver. The stop sat just over the peak of a hill and at a blind corner, most blocked by overgrown honey suckle, where cars zip into the neighborhood.

Noah is off to school. Posted by Picasa

Last year the bus driver, a kind older gentleman, agreed to turn into the neighborhood and pick the kids up at a much safer intersection. Upon his retirement halfway through the year the battle ensued again with a young punk driver writing me up as a "belligerent parent." Several heated phone calls and two days later a new driver was picking our children up at the safe intersection. I am happy to report that this year it is listed as the official pickup with Northshore as the official dropoff which is fine by me since the door opens to toward the neighborhood. The Northshore pickup originally had them crossing in front of cars and the bus to load.

In the past years other issues with this bus had been eratic pickup times and sometimes ignoring the stop all together. Officially the bus can be 15 minutes on either side of the noted pickup time. At one point this bus arrived as early as 7am and as late as 8am. Schools starts at 7:45am.

This year the bus arrived on time and at the right stop! Here’s hoping for a hassle free school year!

Sarah is off to school. Posted by Picasa

Last year was Sarah’s first year in middle school. Her stop was across Northshore, so I thought. I was bothered by her crossing Northshore but at first I would take Noah and her to Noah’s bus stop where I was watch over the elementary students. Her official bus time was the same 7:22 as Noah’s and since I could not be in two places at once I would let her walk up the block, cross Northshore and wait for her bus.

Over time I became uncomfortable with her crossing that busy road so I changed my route and would drive Sarah to her bus stop and drop her off. I’d then take Noah to his stop and stand watch over the elementary students. Soon another parent joined the watch.

Stories surfaced that a white pickup truck was cruising Northshore trying to pickup middle school girls a few miles from Sarah’s stop. I left the watch of the elementary stop to the other parents and have changed to being at Sarah’s stop. Occasionally I let her walk. Oh, I learned that her official stop is on our side of Northshore but all the kids like to gather together on the other side. The stop is down to Sarah and one other friend and I’m sure my presence has nothing to do with that.

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