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School Buses are Evil

I hate school buses. Always have. My aversion dates all the way back to third grade. My parents were on vacation so my sister and I stayed with a neighbor just far enough away from school that we couldn’t walk comfortably. I had never set foot on a school bus, and now I had to ride one every day. FOR A WEEK. 

I was terrified. Who to sit with? Which bus to get on at the end of the day? The moment I climbed up into that fetid, overheated interior that cold January day, a deep fear and loathing of school buses was permanently implanted in my eight-year old brain. 

Name one good thing that’s ever happened on a school bus

Mmm hmm. Thought so.

Kids barf on school buses.

Kids have illicit sex on school buses

Kids fall asleep and get abandoned on school buses.

Kids get bullied on school buses.

See?!

SEE?!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Kids get hijacked on buses and have to be rescued by Dirty Harry.
That's Harry on top of the hijacked bus. Can the cops in your town leap from bridges onto buses driven 70 mph by homocidal maniacs? I didn't think so.

That's Harry on top of the hijacked bus. Can your local cops leap from bridges onto buses driven by homicidal maniacs? Didn't think so.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 I’m not even going to talk about what happens to the kids on the school bus in this movie, because if I have to say it I’ll never get out of bed again and neither will you.
Google it. I'm not telling.

Google it. Like hell I'm telling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you see?  School buses are the devil’s chariot.  

 

There’s a reason why #3 on my List of Top Three Things that Terrify Me Most is that my son will one day be involved in a school bus accident (I’m not mentioning #1 and #2 because I do not want to “put them out into the universe,” if you can dig what I’m saying.)  Fortunately, we live in a small town without public busing — we can drive or walk him to school.

 

It is, however, summer — a time of camp, of fun and games, of leisure, of FIELD TRIPS.  Field trips require school buses. Every freaking Wednesday, no less. So I’ve observed a new weekly ritual this summer: put son in bright blue official camp T-shirt. Inhale back of his neck (that’s what I do, it’s better than coffee. You do it too, you know you do.) Kiss top of his head. Pray fleetingly to all that is holy that his school bus will not crash on the way to the bowling alley/petting zoo/museum.
Guess what happened yesterday?  His school bus crashed — backwards, into a building. He is fine. All the kids are fine. Thank God. But that was not a fun call to receive. Or to make, I’m sure. I could hear the fear in the young counselor’s voice as she told me what she had to tell about 40 parents yesterday:  “Your child was on a bus, and the bus was in an accident.”
I was sharing this story with a colleague, another mom with kids about my son’s age. She shares a lot of my maternal phobias, we’ve talked about it before. She said a great thing: “So your worst fear came true, and now it won’t happen ever again.”
I assume the odds are in our favor. That’s what I’ll tell myself as my son clambers aboard the bus next Wednesday in his camp T-shirt, thinking hopefully not of what happened yesterday, but what DS game to play on the way to the bowling alley/petting zoo/museum. Kid are resilient like that. As for me, I will do what I do every time he and I part: I will force myself to let go. To breathe. To trust in the universe.
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Categories: Parenting Tags: ,
  1. August 6, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Hello! I found your blog through SITS! I am terrified of putting my child into the school system.. I will be that uncool mom that chaperones field trips. I am already a helicopter mom and my kid can’t even sit unassisted.

    • ssmirnov
      August 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm

      Hi, Lolly! You’re my first SITS visit, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. August 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I was bullied on a school bus when I was little. But then the biggest, coolest high school boy in town found out and kicked some ass on my behalf. Had good school bus experiences from there on out. LOL!

    • ssmirnov
      August 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm

      “Good” experiences? I don’t think I approve of that.

  3. August 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    My son is on a bus today on a camp field trip. But I actually feel a little less paranoid about it than usual because it’s a chartered bus with personal tv monitors. Those don’t crash, right? 🙂

    • ssmirnov
      August 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      Don’t worry, Wendi. Personal TV monitors never crash.

  4. August 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    When I saw you twittering about it, I stopped breathing for a moment.

    A long moment. That is my worst nightmare, but I’m so glad it had a good resolution.

  5. Kathryn
    August 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

    No question about the modern day horrors of school busses, but I seldom see one and don’t remember the long, cold, ridiculous-amounts-of snow-winters of Western Pennsylvania, waiting at the dairy farm bus stop and hearing the clank of tire chains coming up the hill. My sisters and I knew everyone on that bus — an eclectic mix of kids from equally diverse households, and the bus driver was likely to be someone’s mother! Certainly a different place in time and geography, but sadly not so long ago….

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