A Rising Star Made Me Cry
I bid on a new bus route and I got the bid, so I begin that route tomorrow. I know already it is a better bus route in some ways than the one I have now and by rights I should be looking forward to driving a route that will no doubt be easier and far less stressful than any bus route I have driven in my entire twelve year career as a bus driver. However, possessing all that knowledge did not make me feel better as I drove for possibly the very last time a middle school bus route that I have spent more than half my career on. As I drove my afternoon run today, I fought back tears for the entire trip. I think most of the kids on my bus knew what I was feeling and a few of the little darlings begging me to stay or saying good bye in their own unique way made it even harder for me to hold them back. I successfully got my route done and my bus parked without tears falling on my glasses and blurring my already crappy vision. I walked in and clocked out just like any other day and went to my car. Once in my car I remembered a little girl handed me a note that I stuck in my pocket, so I pulled out the note and as I unfolded it a picture of herself that she had enclosed in it slipped out. I began reading the little girls note thinking I must retain my resolve and not shed a tear and I was doing good up until I turned the little girls picture over. The first three words she wrote on the back of her photo opened the flood gates and brought this old bus driver to tears and those three simple words were "don't forget me." I think I can safely say that there is absolutely no chance of that ever happening.
This is what happened to me after I read your note in my car and this is what I wrote a while later after I got home. I then posted it on my Facebook page as well as every bus driver Facebook page from all over that I am connected to and so far I can say that it has been well received by bus drivers all over the United States and Canada. Bus drivers constantly question why they do the job they do and a few of us are blessed to transport a rare few exceptional students who answer all those questions and much more. You Mia are one of those rare exceptional students and you will never have to worry about me forgetting you because we always remember the rising stars.
I decided not to take the new bus route and because we are out on break now
Mia does not know I am returning to my old run after the break, nor has she read this yet.