The bus driver didn’t see me wave today but she made sure I saw her. It was that had to make the first step to allow that interaction. The first day she picked up my son she was late. I could tell she was stressed. Even though she is carting kids around town she was quiet and withdrawn. I was stressed too…. well because she was late… very late…. and it was the first day of school. Normally I drive my kids to school on the first day so I don’t have to deal with the bus driver figuring out their new schedule. But Hoyt wanted to take the bus this year and I agreed.
So here we are…. two stressed out women. While one would hope the bus driver would say hello, acknowledge your child, maybe even acknowledge her tardiness, our bus driver did none of these things. Because of my empathy and because she was about to take my child’s life literally into her hands, I did my very best to overcome my own anxiety and my own shyness, and I provoked her attention. I said, “hello, it’s nice to see you, I hope you have a good first day.”
The next couple of weeks followed suit. She was late… and quiet… and I overcame my own frustrations and introverted-ness and said, “good morning, have a good day.” It’s been what, about four/five weeks of school now? She’s not “too” late anymore but she’s always quiet. I’m not as vocal but I at least wave everyday. She was distracted today and didn’t see me wave…. but you know what….
as she drove by – she made sure I saw her wave back at me.
That single gesture has reaffirmed my commitment to keep trying to be kind because more than anything that’s what our world needs most right now.