Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goodbye Cheese Wagon!

Today was Owen's last day on the bus. This big yellow thing that I was so afraid of at first and followed to school on more than one occasion, turned into our friend. No one is more surprised than me.

On Owen's first day of school, I blogged an open letter to Anne Arundle County Public School about the incredibly unsafe place they chose to put a bus stop for a three year old. We had to walk into traffic that couldn't see us before they sped around a corner just to get to the stop. Not to mention his bus came 20 minutes before it was suppose to which meant my son would be on the bus for at least an hour and 15 minutes. Also, standing outside in the cold, wet weather waiting on a bus that never came when you've built it up to your three year old is not OK. Those things were clearly unacceptable so I went to work. By the end of the day, his bus stop was in our driveway and the bus was coming 20 minutes later. While I know the world isn't built around us and we can't always get what we want, school bus 101 should be that you don't make children dodge traffic to get an education. To their credit, they agreed.

At first I wasn't pleased that Owen would spend 45-hour on the bus each way. I was told he wouldn't be on the bus that long but he's going all the way to Glen Burnie and we live up the street from the bus depot so he's first on and last off. I can't complain about that. That's just the way it is. If it were a big deal or he hated the bus, I would have just driven him, but he loves the bus more than anything so I let it go. Sometimes I'd be at school and I'd watch him skip off the bus with the biggest smile on his face. How could I take that away from him?

Today after I put him on the bus, I drove to the school to drop off a cake, cookies and juice boxes for the kid's last day party. I had them put "Good Job!" on the cake because that is clearly what they say to him over and over because Owen comes home saying it everyday both to his dolls, his sister and himself. I got there before Owen and after I put everything in the classroom and emptied out Owen's cubby, I thanked the Mrs. Jean and her assistants, again. His speech teacher, Mrs. Bobby will be working with him in summer session so I'm happy about that. As I walked through the door, I saw that Owen's bus was there so I decided to wait to say hi as I left. I was a little dismayed when he walked right past me. I'm not 100% sure he saw me but he was so excited about getting to school that I wasn't even on his radar screen, which is fine. I handed the letter I'd written to the Principal, who stands out front to welcome everyone everyday, on my way to the car and then cried a bit once I was alone and on the way home. I'm not sad, just proud of my boy.

His bus drivers are so nice that when they dropped him off this afternoon they gave him a goody bag with a packet of Goldfish and a Matchbox car. Seriously? Is this public school utopia or what?

In Memoriam:

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