I went to a private school for first grade. My mother and father had decided I learned enough in preschool to advance in to First Grade and combine my Kindergarten-First grade year together. I was an October baby and it was the best way around the school’s August 31st Cutoff.
I envied the children getting on the school bus each morning. I waited and watched and each child waved good-bye to their mother, got on the bus, and laughed joyfully, right in my little 6 year old face.
There was a party on that school bus. Every morning I saw the children have a parent-free party while I had to be carted across town to the Catholic Elementary School I was attending. The nuns did not allow a school but in the parking lot. Or at least that’s what I assumed. Most everything bad in my 6 year old life was because of those nuns. Surely they took away the party bus, too.
So it continued through the entire school year. Children gloating on the bus while I got in the car for Catholic School.
Finally the Texas School District said I was qualified enough to enter Public School (Ironic, isn’t it?) I stepped on the bus on the first day of second grade.
I sat, wide-eyed, in the middle of the bus, gaping, staring, watching. I could hardly breath I was so excited. The bus stopped to pick up kids, mostly older than I was. I sat in awe as the light blinked each time the bus stopped.
:: click click click click :: Yellow :: Click Click Click Click :: Red :: Blink Blink Blink ::
It was mesmerizing.
The Bus Driver got on the PA and announced that after we stopped at Wedgewood, we’d be late to The Other Elementary School. (Sidenote: In Texas, there is Primary School, k-2, Elementary, 3-5, Jr. High 6-8, and High School 9-12. Or at least there was in 1983.) I assumed I was just going to be late and thought I’d just hang out and watch the lights. Click Click Click.
The students filed off and I realized I was alone. I was scared. The bus driver started driving back to the bus barn. BUT WAIT! I thought we were picking up more kids! Where are all the kids!
The Bus Driver asked what grade I was in. “Second” I said shyly. “Is this your first bus ride?” Yes, I confessed.
She took me to school an hour late. I missed the introduction to my teacher, my classroom, my school. I remember the principal walking me to the class giggling. “So you never got off the bus, hu?”
My mom had the same reaction at the end of school when she was called and told about my incident.
She still laughs about it to this day.
“I forgot to tell you to get OFF the bus! Of all the things a parent needs to say, I didn’t realize that was one of them.”
This story flashes in my mind when I glance at the clock and realize it’s time for my flight to take off. I look around at the people sitting comfortably in the gage seating area. Most are working. There’s not a sign of a boarding anywhere.
Suddenly I gasp, get up, and book to the next open counter. The one stating that my flight to Ashville, and thus Type-A-Mom, is closed. “I missed the flight?!” I gasp. “Is it boarding?!” “No, you missed the flight.”
I look at the large man, wondering if I should be honest, picturing his giggle when he says, “You’ve been sitting at the other gate this whole time?”
What I hear in my head is, “So, you never got off the bus, hu?” and I realize how much I am the same.
:: click click click click ::
Your school bus story reminded me of a similar story of mine that I had almost completely forgotten. One of my first experiences on a bus was for kindergarten, and I grew up in a small enough city in Connecticut that they dropped you off right in front of your house. Well the bus driver drove right by my house on the way home from school, and I just sat quietly, too little and shy to speak up. Until all the other kids were gone, and she asked me where I belonged. I’m sure my mom was concerned as to why her daughter hadn’t made it home from school yet!
By Kim Toomey on 2009 09 24
I am sending you a psychic hug and making the “there, there” sad-eyed, wrinkly lipped sympathy face. I admire that you can be relaxed enough in an airport to miss a flight by total accident. I am uber-paranoid about missing flights - so much so, that I am unable to read novels that I could potentially get engrossed in nor am I able to ignore any PA system announcement. I must look like a half-asleep kitten that suddenly discovered a bug flying overhead. That’s how hard I listen. It’s ridiculous.
By Carly on 2009 09 24
At least your bus driver didn’t force you off the bus at age 5 in a neighborhood ten miles from your home because he “doesn’t do that neighborhood”. Isn’t it strange how history repeats its self if we don’t pay attention. I am glad you made it on another flight!! You know..you are very near my home now. I may come stalk you.
By Amber on 2009 09 24
You big silly. I have nightmares about doing things like this.
Once, I thought my plane left at 12:45 from a regional airport, not 12:15. I had a leisurely lunch and walked out of the restaurant to hear them calling MY NAME on the loudspeaker. I was about 30 gates away from where I needed to be…I ran my fat ass about 200 yards before I couldn’t breathe, then snagged a nice man with a cart to drive me.
The doors were shut. And locked. But the nice airplane people let me on and I had to make the Long Walk of Shame down the aisle, with everyone glaring “Dumbass” at me, as I have so often done with other people, wondering “How can anyone be such an idiot?” KARMA!
By Suebob on 2009 09 25
A friend of mine missed TWO flights on her way home from BlogHer. Seriously. They even announced her name over the loud speaker…which, I’d assume they might have done with you.
She said that had they announced her twitter name, she might have heard them.
Hope you got there okay.
By Issa on 2009 09 25
This was such a fun look into your personality! I have never visited your blog before today, and I’m so glad I came! I am perpetually late and often in the wrong place at the right time or vise versa.
It was wonderful meeting you at TypeAmom!!
By Frelle on 2009 09 28
Suebob, BAH! KARMA FTW. Blergh, I hear ya.
Issa, I did make it. I have zero idea if they said my name. I had headphones on. Which, right, remind me not to do that again next time.
Amber, I didn’t see you sneaking around behind me! Where did you go?! I love me a good stalker if they bring wine.
Frelle, I’m so glad I got to meet you! So fun to have a face to the text!
Kim! My felloW bus nerd! Weren’t we just so young and innocent? Now it’s just called lame. lol
By Mrs. Flinger on 2009 09 29
I can top that. Another couple, my hubby & I sat right in our “little” airport & missed our boarding. Finally they called our names to see if we were there. We hopped up & ran down to ground level, ran to the plane, found our seats & just as we were sitting an employee said are you going to Philly? We laughed (going south to Atlanta then Florida) & said “Yea, right” thinking they were teasing us…then we noticed we were the only ones on the plane! We WERE on the wrong plane. Our was sitting next to it. The whole plane not only was waiting for us to board but they watched run to the wrong plane then get off & run to the correct plane. Pretty embarrassing.
By Donna S. on 2009 10 02
This is really good sharing.this is really awesome article.
Really Inspiring Article. Thanks a lot for sharing.
By aion kinah on 2009 10 05