Bus Riding Woes Only Rattle a Nervous Mama the First Day of School

Wrong bus stop? No problem for Conley. A little more of a problem for mom.
Wrong bus stop? No problem for Conley. A little more of a problem for mom.

Here is a brief list of things that I would rather do than sit in the carpool line:

  • Go camping.
  • Perform a root canal on myself.
  • Cheer for Virginia Tech.
  • Have another c-section.
  • Become a vegan.

However, I am a also a bit, uhh, lets say, doting. Therefore, my emotions ping-ponged from utter jubilation to sitting-bolt-upright-in-the-middle-of-the-night fear when my daughter told me that now that she was a sophisticated second grader that she thought that she should try out the bus this year.

Ultimately, my disdain of carpool and my husband’s concern that if we didn’t force some independence on her that I’d still be driving her to and from work every day when she was 40 overrode my fear of her riding the bus.

Although the school had warned us that the buses were going to most likely be late the first few days, I was not taking any chances. So, about 10 minutes before the scheduled drop off time the dog and I walked the half block to her bus stop. I mean, it was only 95 degrees, who wouldn’t want to go stand around a shadeless street corner?

My husband got home from work and joined the dog and me at the stop. I continued to pace and talk at a speed that could be described as hummingbird on espresso.

That is when my phone rang.


"Yes, hello, is this Mrs. Lewis? Conley’s mom?"

"Yes, yes! This is Conley’s mom!"

"Yes, I think she got off at the wrong bus stop and was lost. She is safe but upset. I’ll keep her here with me."

I yelled to my husband that I had to get to my baby. Right now. And, with that I was off.

I was running. Like Usain Bolt. Like Secretariat. My husband, still in his work clothes, took off behind me, the poor, hot dog in tow.

We are still not exactly sure what happened, because, you know, scared seven year old. I contacted the school and they were very apologetic and helpful.

We ordered pizza and after a couple of glasses of wine, my husband broached the subject of letting her try the bus again the next day. I wished that I was Daenerys Targaryen and could command my dragons to char this ridiculous man. As far as I was concerned, she was never going to even glance at a bus again. I was planning on throwing out everything yellow on the chance that it would trigger some kind of PTSD.

However, the next morning my daughter bounded down the steps, completely nonplussed from the harrowing ordeal, and said, "Don’t worry, mom! I’ll get off at the right spot today."

"What? You want to ride the bus again?"

"Oh yeah. I get to talk to my friends on the bus."

Tuesday went extremely well. The bus was right on time and my girl jumped off the shiny yellow bus and said, "Told you I’d do it right this time!"

CMS Transportation Info:

125,000 CMS students ride 1,052 buses.

CMS has 90 bus driver vacancies.

The CMS transportation hotline – 980-343-6715.

Help your child navigate the bus well with these tips, including making sure your child knows the landmarks around her bus stop so she recognizes where to get off.