Tuesday, September 15, 2009
School Bus Hello
Today I had one of those writer expeiences that just happen to us.
All of you driving around me were just driving along, minding your business listening to whatever. But me? Not so much.
I saw the school bus ahead and wondered who was in it. I was quite positive that I knew no one on the bus. No chance. I was driving through a town where I know no one. Total stranger.
What made me look up into the windows when the bus and I pulled to a stop together?
I remember the many years of bus rides to school. Fresh new clothes, strong boys in the back, smart girls in the front. All the rest of us "extras" sandwiched between. I always looked out the windows to mark where we were. I loved to watch the seasons change. I wondered what was happening in the houses we passed and what it was like to be those people.
I cried, sometimes, on the bus. When kids made fun of me or, the absolute worst day, the first "B" on my report card. I was in 4th grade and knew I was too old to cry for silly things, but I was so disappointed in myself. I knew my Grandma and Grandpa would be mad. What if they decided I was getting bad and they didn't want me anymore?
Ok, you think that's foolish? Next time you meet a foster child - grown or not - ask them how real that fear is. It still brings tears to my eyes.
My Grandma and Grandpa were well above the average sensitive humans, thankfully. They wiped the tears away and gave me some ice cream and the world was righted.
I don't know if the little girl in the bus saw me first or I her. I smiled and sort of half waved. She stared at me, not unfriendly, but not quite connected either. I smiled again. Still no response. Sad eyes, blonde hair, the weight of the world in the mask she wore.
I prayed for this sad little girl. You might think that's foolish. But surely if God knew me when I was young like her, He knows her now.
The bus turned at the corner and she was gone.
Like all of you around me, I was back to driving along, minding my own business, listening to whatever.