More than just a bus driver

Five days a week, I drive kids to and from school. Some of my high school kids are on the bus with me for an hour to and from school. Two hours a day. That’s a lot of time. You get to know these kids, they become your kids.

Some days I’m a therapist trying to give the best possible advice without stepping on parents toes. I listen to their problems and tell them some of mine…not too much don’t worry. I’ve consoled them when they cry, laughed with them, watched them become excited about test grades and have seen them upset when they are fighting with their boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend.

I think we can all agree that is has been a long school year, sickness, cold temperatures, even snow here in Myrtle Beach! So needless to say I am always happy to bring the year to a close. Prom season means Spring Break is here and the end of the year is around the corner. Seeing the girls’ excitement about Prom always makes me smile.

For the past month or maybe more, I’ve watched and listened to a few girls that sit in the front talk about prom, dresses, dinner plans, and pictures. It takes me back to myself in high school. I’ve seen them anxious and excited for their prom night. I’ve watched these girls grow up. One in particular, 3 years I’ve driven her. She went from not speaking a word to me to calling me “mom”. It was a little joke at the beginning of the year that we had with each other. I told her I wanted to adopt a baby from Uganda like Thomas Rhett, and ever since she started calling me mom. She told me I didn’t have to adopt a baby I could just adopt her. Her and two other girls have been talking about taking pictures with their phones, I chimed in and said “absolutely not, let me take them!” After-all I’ve been through the whole prom planning process with them since the moment the tickets were released. Okay, so maybe I just listened to the whole prom planning process from my driver’s seat, but I’ve still been there and I wanted to be the one to take some pictures of her.

There will always be those kids that you connect with. I love all my “kids” even on the days they make me crazy. But, there are a few that will always have a special place in my heart.

Being able to see her all dressed up for prom was perfect. I seriously felt like a proud mama! She looked so beautiful and I’m so glad I got to take a few shots of her. Moments like this define us. This was a good reminder of why I do what I do. It’s not about the route, the hot bus, the days where the kids are driving me crazy, and we all know it’s not about the paycheck. It’s about the relationships that we are able to create, even if some of them last only for a short while. I’m more than just a bus driver.

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