Bus Bumps and a Positive Outlook.

Have you ever seen one of those TV shows with the dramatized high speed police chase scenes? They’re all the same. A police car inevitably goes flying over a hill and gets sweet air, crashing its bumper to the ground creating a shower of sparks. “Surely this sort of thing does not really happen”, you might say to yourself from time to time.

You’re wrong. You’ve never ridden along with a particular surly school bus driver whose name will remain unnamed.

But let me back up.

Someone told me recently that you can make the decision to be happy at any time. You just need to stop yourself and make the conscious decision. This person told me this while I was ranting on and on about one frustration or another. At the time I probably wanted to slap him, but, I am starting to think he’s right.

Today I made the conscious decision to be a total bitch. I made the decision to be pissed off for the majority of the day. I actually recall stopping and telling myself “Kate, you can make the choice to be happy RIGHT NOW.” Then I recall telling myself to piss off.

The thing about making the conscious decision to be crabby when you’re a teacher is that your mood will inevitably rub off on everyone around you. You will soon be surrounded by a bunch of wee ones with the same ‘tude as you. It ain’t pretty.

That’s precisely how I ended up on the school bus at the end of the day.

Stay with me.

So, after getting a report from the bus driver that my little cherubs were less than satisfactory I let me and my bad mood threaten that I would ride the bus with them home to witness their unsatisfactory bus behavior first hand.

Note to self: never threaten such things at 8:30am when you’re bein’ a crab.

3:05 rolled around and, after an entire day of enduring a kiddie crap storm, I was left with no choice but to follow through with my threat. I am, after all, a VERY proud woman.

I will say only a few things about this ride:

1. I will never be a bus driver.
2. Bus drivers can be very, very mean.
3. Bus seats are very upright.
4. I have a hard time sitting upright.
5. The mixture between bus fuel, stinky boy, and the bus drivers perfume makes me turn green.
6. Speed bumps hold a different meaning to some bus drivers… as in SPEED UP when approaching a speed bump and send small children rocketing toward the ceiling. This is where my police chase comparison comes from. I swear we caught more air than Evil Knievel.
7. I had to stand with my head between my legs outside for five minutes after that bus ride begging myself not to upchuck.
8. I am no closer to knowing why my students cannot hold it together on the bus. Perhaps because of numbers 1-6?

Tomorrow I will do things differently. Tomorrow, when I stop and tell myself that I have the power to choose to be happy I will not tell myself to beat it. Tomorrow, come hell or high water, I will NOT ride that bus.

I will never look at speed bumps the same way again.

Things to be happy about:

– 8:00 gal snack time in the Coop kitchen.
– Countless cups of tea while listening to the downpour that I’m thankfully not stuck in.
– Memories of a fantastic weekend with a good old friend.
– Learning how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch that takes less than 15 minutes start to finish.
– Cuddles.

Peace, love, and patchouli – Portland Pollyanna

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