By Don Rush

Last week your hero (that would be me) asked a number of questions all related to school transportation. Since it’s really always all about me, I whined about the amount of cars on the roads in the mornings (and afternoons) during the school year. It really is nice to drive in the summer because traffic counts are lower than the school year.
Asked I, “How many kids drive to school these days?
“How many kids never ride a bus these days? Why do so many parents drive their wee-little and not-so-wee-little childrens to school when the bus option is readily available and already paid for?
“Moms, what’s wrong with riding the bus & why must you chauffeur?”

Get on the bus!

Among other questions inquiring minds wanted to know. Well, I had one mom respond. Thank you, Pam B!

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Hey Don, I understand your complaint on school traffic because it also makes my drive different in the mornings. But on the other side, as a mother of two (now) grown children, I DID drive them to school everyday to school through their school years.
MANY reasons that worked for us were because we lived in a court and the school bus could not even come down our street. I would have to either walk down to the end of our road with a five-year-old (that I couldn’t even see if I let her go by herself) and sit around in the heat, cold, rain, fog, dark, or whatever the day might bring, waiting around for a bus to take her to school.
We were the first pick up and she would have to sit on the bus for 45 minutes to do the pickup route and be hot, tired and anxious by the time she got to school.
OR I, as a stay home mom at the time, I could let her sleep in a bit, have a nice breakfast, then drive her myself to the five minute ride it took us to get there in MY car. Why wouldn’t I drive to make my child’s day a bit more enjoyable?
Also, I had a preschool daughter too and I would take her to class for three hours while I was out driving my other daughter to school. AND the few times my kids DID ride the bus, I only heard horrible stories of things kids did to others on the bus that made me not EVER want to send my child on a bus again…spit on, sat on, jumping around with no seat belts, the language, one kid even had a lighter and was trying to set girls’ hair on fire!
Another time I sent them on the bus, we were new to the neighborhood. The bus driver dumped my child on a different street since he/she couldn’t drive the bus down our street with the court. My daughter wasn’t sure where she was, since the houses sorta’ all looked alike (especially to a seven-year-old), so she just sat on the grass crying because she didn’t know where her house was!
SO would you, as a parent, want your child to go through that or put up with a little more traffic with driving her with a five minute nice ride to school to start her day off better?
By the way, when my girls DID start driving we didn’t buy them brand NEW cars, as most people do now. In fact, my daughter was laughed at for having a car that had windows which she had to roll down by hand and didn’t even have a CD player! One “friend” would drive up to her purposely moving her windows up and down with the power buttons to laugh at her. Kids are just MEAN!

Bullies blow

But you know my daughter Loved her car and when some kids needed a ride home from their Pom practice, or football games or dance classes, guess who they would sometime rely on to take them home? There are a LOT of well-off people who live in the area who DO have access to new cars — so yes, why not let your kid have the best and not have to worry about them in an old car with problems?
Of course, kids don’t learn to appreciate the value of things that way. They just bang and open the doors in the parking lot into other cars, even my daughter’s older car got dings from the school lot and also backed into because it didn’t matter to them — they would just get a different new car soon.
At that age they are still learning to drive for God’s sake!
But it was a special thing to be able to drive to school your Junior and Senior years, so we let them drive.
Most parents work full time now, so dropping them off to school in the mornings on their way to work, I’m sure, is much easier than wondering if they made it to school relying on the buses. Apparently a LOT of kids DO ride buses still because there are at least 12 or more I see every day lined up at the elementary school near us that are waiting to take children home.
So, I guess you can’t complain when you do NOT know the reasons people drive their children to school.
Thanks for listening. — Pam (a mom of 2 daughters and now a Grandma of 3 girls)

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