Friday, September 24, 2010

As Our Little Ones Grow…

I never road the bus to or from school when I was growing up.  I was lucky in the fact that my mother didn’t work so she was able to take me and pick me up.  I didn’t ever have the urge to ride a bus either.  I got my fill of them on field trips.  The hot rides with warm breezes from the windows, hot vinyl seats and strange smells were not forte. 

My mother was the kind of mother that sat in the car until the first bell rang so that I didn’t have to wait in the gym with everybody else, including in high school. 

My mother was always there for me when I got out of school.  Waiting.  I remember one day her not being in her normal parking spot and I totally freaked out, crying hysterically.  I went to the office and tried to call and there was no answer.  I remember walking back outside and scanning the whole parking lot, seeing her car.  A breath of fresh air, of comfort swirled around me.  She was there, just in a different spot.

I never had to worry about possibly missing the bus or running into strangers.  I’m not sure what my reaction would have been if I would have showed up at the bus stop with a cop standing by.

But then again, I lived in a different world.  Although it’s only been 17 years ago, in those 17 years times have definitely changed.

Kayla has always wanted to ride the bus.  However, we have always lived too close to the school for her to do so.  After all, we could walk the 1/2 mile to the elementary school, if needed.

Since her middle school is further away, she is able to ride the bus.  However, just from my own experience, as mentioned from the field trips above, I didn’t want her to ride the bus.  However, since I am working and she can’t be dropped off earlier than 8:05am, that’s a problem.  Zack has to be at work by 8 and I, as well as Kelsie have to be at the school at 7:45.  This leaves her to walking to the bus stop.

We made sure that the bus stop was in close distance to the elementary school, because I didn’t want her staying at home in the mornings alone, locking up and walking to the stop close to the house.  So we have a little routine down.  The three of us leave at 7:35 heading to the school.  Kayla walks and stays with Kelsie until the 2nd bell rings at 7:50.  At that time she herself walks to the bus stop located just a little ways down the street from the school.  I was SO nervous about her walking to the bus stop and then riding too.  However, I do know that the kids are less rowdy in the mornings. {I pick her up from school} The bus comes around 8:15.  She gets to stand around and talk to her friends until it gets there.  Everybody rides this bus!  All her friends, which is great for her. 

However, there is a problem.  Everyday when I pick Kayla up from school there are always stories of weird people walking by the stop or riding their bike along the road.  Kayla knows that she doesn’t talk to strangers and even got onto a friend of hers that did a couple of weeks ago.  Most people that pass the stop are innocent.  However the stop is located very close to a park.  It’s a wooded little nature trail park that has been known to house transients.  Back at the beginning of the year it was plastered on the news about it.   But, I can’t do anything about it.  The police bumped up patrol in the AM for the kids walking to the elementary school and those at the bus stop.

Yesterday…there was a different story.  One that prompted my call to the police department and to the school boards transportation office.

I picked Kayla up from school like everyday and ask her how her day was.  Her immediate response, “I don’t want to go to that bus stop anymore!”.  I ask what happened, thinking I’d hear the same story.  But it was different. 

She said there was a policeman there this morning when she walked over.  The policeman was there because Kayla’s friend called 911 from her cell phone because there was a man in that park that had a gun.  However…the policeman I spoke to on the phone said there wasn’t any gun reported.  Which I believe, because we are close enough they would have locked down the school.  Anyways.  Apparently he said that there are parents calling weekly about this stop and that they patrol there in the mornings a lot more than they used to. {THANK YOU, GOD!}

I then called the school boards transportation office requesting the stop to be moved away from that park and told them about the incident this morning.  She said that there is supposed to be a rep there tomorrow to move the stop.  {THANK YOU, GOD!} 

Zack is going to be at the stop in the morning to find out more information and find out where the stop is moving. 

This is all so SCARY to me.  I am so worried about the safety of Kayla.  However, I am in a position where I have to trust Kayla and her instincts.  Which I do trust her, thankfully she does have a good head on her shoulders and is very leery of strangers.

Maybe I’ll be rethinking her getting a cell phone.


Kelli said...

I think that it is so sad that we have to think about these things. Sigh. So glad they are moving the stop though. I know that you've raised Miss Kayla to be very smart and to make wise choices. Hang in there.

Irene said...

I read your post with much interest. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

A-K said...

Oh my gosh! That is scary! The should move that stop for sure. There should be no excuse for kids to be left at that bus stop if there is continuing calls to the popos.

I rode the bus when I was in middle school and enjoyed it, actually. Of course it was something I just got used to as well. Plus my friends rode the bus too. I didn't get picked up at the bus stop though, I got picked up at the elementary school.

You should consider Kayla getting a phone. Although we didn't get to have one when we were her age, times have changed. If there was an emergency, or if she really needed you and no one was around she would be left without an option! Plus, you or Z may need to reach her.

With that said, it would have to be monitored of course! Emergency use on practical use for the most part only maybe.

Kay said...

Phone=good idea