Tales from the Bus Stop: Chapter 1



My goal for this school year for myself is to get Butterfly on time to school.  Every day.  Last year, I am ashamed to say that she was late 3-6 days out of the month.  Every month.  And I could never figure it out!  I swear I got her to school by 9:25 am when it started!

Reading this year’s paperwork they sent home, school starts at 9:15 am.


With Butterfly riding the bus this year, we will hopefully meet that goal!  In order for her to be on the bus and us not running to the car in the morning, we leave for the bus stop 10 minutes before we’re supposed to get there.  Because with all these little kids, you never know how long a short walk up the block will take.

Today, we were the second ones there and set my kids loose to run in the grass nearby.  They were playing claw (it’s like tag but “scarier!”) and having a ball.  I figured they were moving and getting all of Butterfly’s wiggles out before school started.  And I didn’t have to answer the twin chorus of “why?” for a good 10 minutes.  Win/win!

More kids showed up to the bus stop.  They lined up nicely on the side walk.  And watched.  My kids screamed, ran, cried (“it’s too scary Mommy!”), and were general hooligans.  I could see several of the kids bouncing on the balls of their feet with their heads following the path my trio was making.

One girl from Butterfly’s class last year joined Butterfly in running around.  That seemed to break the dam and they had a rousing game of Claw going in about 2 minutes.  It was a screaming mass of kids and I was enjoying watching them run!

Three minutes in, a mom started screaming at her girls (she has 3) to get back on the sidewalk.  They were in the middle of the pack and didn’t hear her.  She marched herself down there and physically yanked all three girls out of the pack and lined them up on the side walk.  On the way past me, she said to the oldest girl “It’s wet and you will fall!  If any of your sisters fall and hurt themselves, I’m holding you responsible!”

I’ve been thinking about this all day.  It would not be this oldest girl’s fault.  Yes, the grass was wet.  Yes, kids did fall and hurt themselves.  (okay, just Pirate) But I didn’t see any harm in the kids running before school.  This mom started the trend and gradually, the kids with parents were pulled back into line.

Are we so afraid for kids to hurt themselves that we limit what they can and can’t do?  Are we afraid of blood, sweat, tears, and some skinned knees?  I see a huge trend in child raising here that you keep kids inside and controlled at all times.  I don’t like that.  I love to see my kids running and screaming and I let them do it as much as possible.  (Just ask my parents after a fun 2 weeks of that!)

Or maybe I just can’t control my children.

Either way, I’m okay with it.


PS- I’m sure I will have lots of stories about the bus stop in the years to come.  So welcome to a new series!

7 Comments (+add yours!)

  1. Valinda
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 21:57:52

    I’m WAY too chicken to let my kids ride the bus but I see no harm in letting them run wild while waiting. Is it required for them to be all lined up when the bus arrives? That mom was just plain mean. I was the oldest girl of 6 and I was put in the place of responsibility all the time, I try not to do it too often to Fred, it’s hard finding balance but no way would it be her fault if her sisters fell, well unless she pushed them. Very thought inducing story, keep them coming and keep letting those kiddos run wild!


    • Safire
      Sep 01, 2011 @ 21:52:26

      Yes, well, if Fred pushed them, then YES she would be in trouble! But just running around? Not her fault.


  2. Robert
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:28:51

    I hated it when my parents blamed me for stuff my brothers did even though I was not in charge. You did the right thing letting your kids run a bit. Just don’t let them run in Burlington Coat Factory, or knock down displays in other stores. ;-)



    • Safire
      Sep 01, 2011 @ 21:51:35

      Let’s just say that they get near any kind of clothes racks and I hyperventilate. Why do you think I shop online so much?


  3. Leslie B.
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 11:15:42

    Yes, that mom was mean the way that she said all of that and for holding her oldest responsible.

    It’s made think that hopefully I don’t do that with my oldest…Very thought provoking…thank you!! I know that I’ve told my oldest to lead by example…

    Leslie B.


    • Safire
      Sep 01, 2011 @ 21:50:48

      I always want Butterfly to lead by example too. It was a good reminder to allow her a little more freedom from her brothers.


Leave a Reply