Have 3 days really passed? Or has it been 3 weeks? Hard to tell on this Friday night!
Wednesday afternoon's route home got me back to the house way after 6pm -- and there were still drivers out when I came back! Getting kids on the bus for the first time after school proved to be equally difficult whether they are senior high or elementary!
I had quite the crew of elementary on the way home and making sure they knew where they were to get off -- where 'home' was for them --- when I didn't even know myself because there's no way I know their names --- proved very !!!! time consuming --- but we made it and that was the goal. Time was not in the plan for the day.
Yesterday morning went very smoothly and I got everyone to school exactly on time.
The afternoon route? Another story. High school was good because I could ask them if they lived in this area or that and if not -- I could actually re-route my route and made up some time.
The elementary -- another story!
With them I had to make every single stop and wait for them to see if that was where they live. And then making sure they have their backpack and that their parent is there waiting for them. T-I-M-E!
The parents have been amazing and all smiles and some are even taking pictures!
About half way through the route I had 3 little girls near the back of the bus in tears. Seems they were on the wrong bus! They were supposed to be on bus 85 --- I was still in 54 instead of 89 --- and it all created complete confusion for them. I radioed in and they contacted the parent of each one and after running my complete route I took them back to school where I talked with each parent. All was well but the littlest one was quite scared. But she felt better when I told her that the best way to remember your bus number is to get on the wrong one!
This morning was again like clockwork.
The afternoon ----was great because my bus 89 was repaired, in it's parking place and ready to roll and end all this number confusion. The high school was home in record time and we were on coarse for the elementary. At the 2nd to last stop I asked if the 3 remaining kids (that I could see) were all from the last stop area.
It was then that Adrian informed me that there was a little boy asleep in one of the seats. I couldn't even see him! We pulled over and it took a couple of minutes for Adrian to wake up the little guy. Adrian is probably a 4th grader and such a great little guy. He was so gentle in waking him up that it really touched my heart. The minute the boy woke up he realized he was not at home! We tried and tried and tried to get his name and all we could get that his name was Muhammad. I got my roster list of kids names and I have 3 others with that name. I asked him what grade he was in (hoping to narrow down the list) and all he could say was, "I used to be 5 and now I'm 6." I then asked him if he was in kindergarten and he said yes.
About this time the call came out across the radio that a kindergartner from his school with his name was missing --- and I quickly told them he was found! He was assigned to a completely different bus and somehow the school had put the number 89 on his backpack!!??
I took him back to school after my last stop and talked with Mom for a few minutes (her English isn't the best) and all was well.
As I thought about these past 3 days while driving home a couple of things occurred to me. God had "thrown me a bone" that I hadn't realized till late today. Yesterday afternoon one of my high school girls from my route last year (one of the well behaved ones) came running up to me after school, gave me a huge hug and showed me that she had gotten a pair of tennis shoes like mine! (gray shoes with hot pink laces). As we both laughed and kicked our pink laced feet in the air -- life went on and it wasn't until this evening God showed me something -- something that touched my heart!
Last year was rough --- beyond imagination and beyond words. But God . . . I knew He called me to that route and I knew He had a plan. We never know how we touch people's lives. Sometimes we think they didn't even notice anything and other times we think they didn't even like us, let alone listen or learn.
When this girl came up to me God showed me that -- with Him working through me -- this girl's life WAS touched, she DID care and she knew I cared -- which in turn makes me know that God touched her life and heart! To have a high school girl come up to me -- someone old enough to easily be her grandmother -- and be thrilled to have shoes like mine????? It's a true God- thing!
It made my heart smile.
And the other 3 buses that now carry my kids from last year? Each new driver has come to me and said thank you --- that the kids DID learn to behave on the bus! I was only the vessel that God worked through and yet those thank you words made my heart smile again!
What does God have in store for this school year? I have no idea. But I do know He has a plan and my prayer is to be obedient to follow His plan and be open enough for Him to work through me to accomplish His goal.
It is a VERY different route --- the kids are thanking me every day for driving them --- and most told me to have a great weekend --- nearly a foreign language for me --- and yet God has me on this bus, driving each of them --- for a reason.
I am excited to what His plan unfold. (And yet -- my heart misses my kids from last year!) They changed my life forever!
Until next time . . . "have a good weekend" sounds like a good idea to me! Susan