Every now and then, I use this space to vent. A little ventilation helps so as to not explode. My nerves have been on edge lately, and admittedly, even the smallest thing can set me off.
So this morning, I put a happy six-year old on the school bus. Because they don’t have a special class for him at the award-winning school across the street (aka the reason we bought our house), they send a bus with an aid directly to my house. He got on, and I could still see the aid walking him down the aisle to his favorite seat. Once in the seat it always takes a few seconds because they encourage him to buckle his own belt. As they were making their way to his seat, a car pulled up behind the bus. I live near the entrance to an “L” shaped street with a cul-de-sac, so anyone behind the bus will be trapped, but luckily I am only one house away from the stop sign and they are free to pass at that point.
Anyway, the car pulls up, and then immediately begins to edge around, as if to pass the bus. The driver hesitated a second, then went for it, and began to pull around on the left side. The bus driver was having none of it, and as my son was quickly loaded, the bus driver also pulled off, forcing the impatient car to speed up considerably to pass before reaching the stop sign. I took a good look at the car, but didn’t immediately recognize it, nor could I see through the tinted windows.
There are a few reasons why this little situation upset me. And now, for the venting.
It’s against the law. That’s kind of just how it goes.It doesn’t matter if you agree, or if it is inconvenient. When the lights are flashing and the stop sign is out, you stay put.And you can’t claim ignorance—it’s written right on the back of the bus.
It’s about safety. I’ve been caught behind plenty a school bus, stopping what seems every ten feet to let out meandering children with an abundance of time on their hands.It’s annoying.If I can turn and take a detour, I go for it. But I don’t pass—even when it looks safe. Because hitting a child getting on or off of a bus is inexcusable.
It was like, 30 seconds. Max. He was already on the bus when they pulled up. There wasn’t a parade of children getting on, or multiple neighborhood stops to be made. I feel you if you’re running late, but these precious seconds will not make or break your day. Unless you hit a child, of course. That would be a day breaker.
It was a special needs bus. They have to take the extra time to make sure that my son is strapped into his seat. Even if there is someone on this street who doesn’t know why my son has a special bus pick him up and take him away from the neighborhood school, you’re an adult.I’ll be a sport and give you three guesses.
That would never have been me. Not only because I am too smart, considerate and reasonably human to have passed a special-needs bus while my neighbor loaded on her 6-year old. There’s that. But also because in this neighborhood where drivers stop a line of traffic and smilingly wave people on golf carts through the crosswalks, it would have never been acceptable. I would be blacklisted from every BBQ, uninvited to every holiday party. The local mother’s Facebook group would have posted a picture of my license plate this morning and there would already be about 350 vicious threats against my safety in the comments section.
It’s called common courtesy. Everything is not about you. Or me. Or any one person. When you pull up to stopped traffic because of an accident on the freeway and think, “Oh crap, I’ll never get home in this mess,” do you stop and think there might be a victim up ahead who will truly never go home again? Too deep? How about the poor soul blocking traffic with a stopped car or a flat tire?Just another annoyance in your day until are that person and you find that a little patience or kindness from a stranger can go a long way.
I am your neighbor. And this is the most important one. Because there are only 12 houses on this street, and I know almost every single person. I will very soon know who you are.And once that happens, (threats removed at the suggestion of my legal counsel). Okay, I don't have a legal rep, just common sense. Another reason I don't pass school busses.
Actually, there is a very real chance that you will read this, or hear about this post. I hope you do. Because you now have an opportunity to come to my front door and give a very sincere, extremely heartfelt apology about why your getting to that stop sign a few seconds earlier was more important than my child’s safety. Bring cake. You’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
(image found at www.childrens.com)