What Goes on the Bus Stays on the Bus


Like a lot of families, we have a series of routines here around chez Aalto. Although it would be laughable to the musicians I used to play gigs with until all hours of the morning, I am the one responsible for the morning routine. I’m not naturally a morning person but I have embraced the role to the extent that my sleepy brain can muster.

Right now it’s 6:30 AM and all is quiet. In around 30 minutes the staircase will become a jumbled mess of arthritic dog legs, sleepy kid and whatever assortment of clothes, books, flotsam and jettison etc that are heaved down into the entryway. Admittedly it’s an adjustment for me to greet the world willingly at this hour. And yet, it’s begun to feel almost natural. Almost.

My daughter Ella likes big breakfasts in contrast to the more spartan fare that I prefer. A perfect breakfast for her would include any variety of pig available (bacon, ham, sausage – she’s not too picky) along with toast and/or pancakes and waffles. Me? I’m all for a bowl of raisin bran. Mr. culinary excitement – that’s me. Sometimes I branch out and have oatmeal but it’s mainly some assortment of fibrous bran or another.

Mornings are also a time for catching up and getting the inside scoop on all the news that isn’t always fit to print. This is especially true on the way to the bus stop. Roughly four blocks away our AM destination beckons. On the way, we talk about what is going on in Ella’s world. It’s tame enough in most cases but so much of her world revolves around school and it’s good to know what is really going on.

There are about seven to eight families that mingle each morning at our bus stop. It’s reassuring to see the same faces on a daily basis and to get a chance to interact with the same kids and parents regularly. For the most part, we’re a pretty happy bunch – even when it’s raining and miserable outside. This is what coffee mugs were invented for right?

A couple of days ago two of our kids didn’t see what can only be described as the largest roadside dog bomb I have ever seen. It was right on the sidewalk, right in front of where the bus stops. Uh oh. I can only imagine the total chaos that ensued inside the bus when it became apparent to driver and child alike what had just been tracked inside. It’s not easy to open windows on a school bus. It’s also not a good idea to stand on the seats to open the windows when your shoes have been compromised.

According to my wife (she got the story in the afternoon) they had to abandon the bus for a new one. What a way for your kid to start the morning. It can only get better from there right?

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