So both Auburn and Alabama lost their football games yesterday and a pall has fallen across the land like we’d just learned that the wonderful chicken and dumplings our aunt brings to every family reunion come from a can and not her kitchen

However, the sun really did come up this morning and our first born were not snatched from us during the night.

And to help bring you back to reality, I turn to one of my favorite blogs, Mr. Brandon’s School Bus and share with you. Mr. Brandon is Tom who teaches and drives a school bus in Madison County and does a wonderful job of sharing the world he experiences each week.

You can find his blog here. I make it a regular stop.

She stepped out into the aisle as we were going down the road with a wide smile on her face and started making her way to the front with a bouncy little step. I recognized her immediately,  She was wearing a Batman shirt that she has a fondness for. Knowing how unsafe it was for her to be walking down the aisle of a moving bus I decided to address the situation. I said, “Batman, you need to sit down.”

I know, I referred to her as Batman but I have referred to her as Batgirl in the past and was quickly put straight on the matter, lesson learned. I tried again this time with a little more parental tone in the voice, “Batman, you need to sit down.” She was not deterred but the smile had now turned to a frown. So I pulled out all stops and referred to her by her real name and said, “You need to sit down.”

Now, not only was the smile gone but her little head hung down. At this point she was now by my side. Knowing I had lost the battle I asked, “What do you need?” She raised her head, looked at me with those big dark eyes and said, “But, I just wanted to tell you that I love you Mr. Brandon.” I replied, “I love you too baby but you need to stay sit down.” With a look that was far from happy or understanding she made her way back to her seat.

Women! How do they do that, I truly believe it is genetic. They can all do it. She had executed it perfectly. 1. She had gotten her way no matter the obstacles. 2. Though I knew with every fiber in my body I was right and every safety manual ever written would say that I was right, I, yes I, now felt like a heel. 3. She would be over it in just a few minutes and I would feel bad about being right the rest of the day. There is not a man born that has not been the recipient of the cunning behavior of a female.

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Monday mornings, you know and I know what the very idea of Monday mornings invokes. To bus drivers it means, “The Monday Morning Finger”. You pull up in front of a house on Monday morning and everyone is running late because of the exhausting weekend. The weekend where we were supposed to relax and get away from work only to run ourselves silly trying to do all the things we could not get done during the week.

So again, everyone is late except the bus driver who is punctual, regardless of what the parents say. The driver pulls up and stops, there is no sign of life and the driver prepares to pull away. Just as the bus is about to leave, the door to the house opens slightly an arm protrudes through the opening, and sticks one finger up to the sky to be interpreted as, “Just one more minute”. Often the arm may go up and down like the needle on a sewing machine adding time as if putting quarters in a parking meter.

The size of the opening and how the arm is clad can also tell you how Mom is attired and how far behind she is on her morning dressing ritual. A small opening and a bare arm can be a dangerous thing when the child is finally ready and yanks the door wide open to an unprepared, scantily dressed mom. Many a bus driver knows the mothers on the route better than they would like to.

Parents believe that somewhere in the bus driver’s code there is a rule that states: All bus drivers are under obligation to remain in front of a house as long as a parent holds up a finger. Breaking of this code of conduct often results in a hand gesture that is far more inappropriate than the first.

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A small inquisitive voice asked, “Mr. Brandon what are those for?” I glanced over my left shoulder to see the eyes and nose of a young man struggling to see over the partition between us. I asked him what he wanted and he repeated, “What are those for?” “What things do you mean?” I asked. “All those buttons and knobs by you,” he said. He indicated the switches that were next to me.

So I told him how they worked the heaters, air conditioners, and other devices on the bus. The feature that out did them all was the lever that allowed me to move the steering wheel up and down. He got off the bus in a state of wonder.

The next day he was behind me again but this day he was the teacher, passing on the knowledge that he had gained the day before. He explained to a little girl, who looked on with fascination, each of the switches and what they did. He saved the best till last and said, “Mr. Brandon show her what that lever does.” So I pulled on it and raised the wheel up and then back down. Then he finished his instructional talk with, “Isn’t my bus wonderful?”

Make your day better and go through it with the wonder and fascination of a four year old. Look with wonder, at the switches there are to flick, knobs to turn, and levers to pull. Ask, how do birds find their way home, why do cats purr and babies coo, how can the touch of someone’s hand make you feel warm inside and a kiss from a child on your cheek can almost make you cry? Don’t overlook the wonder of the smallest detail, take nothing for granted. Then say, “Isn’t my world wonderful.”

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Threes, you know how we say bad things always happen in threes. There were three kindergartners in seat three, two girls and one boy. Event number one: Kindergarten boy kisses kindergarten girl next to him while they hide behind the seat. Got a little sugar from a cute girl, how can that be bad?

Both girls rat him out. He starts to cry. Event number two: The kisser now calls the kissie a ugly name and she starts to cry. Event number three: The kissless feeling left out and lonely now asked the boy, in the seat in front of her, if he will come over to her house. He says, “No!” She now cries. Kleenex to seat three. It was a weepy kind of afternoon. We’ve all been there.