He Can’t Ride That Bus.

For the coming school year, Dylan will be getting out of school at 3:15, and Shane will be getting out at 3:30.

But they will be 25 miles apart.

If I pick up Shane first, Dylan will have to wait for almost an hour for me to arrive. But if I pick up Shane first, no one would get home before 5:00 – every day. If I pick up Dylan first, we can be home by (hopefully) 4:15.

It seems unfair to ask my 10-year-old to just stand there after school (in the heat, sun, rain, sleet and/or snow) until I get there. I hear what you are thinking. Why doesn’t Shane take the bus home?

Well, that does seem like a great idea – except that three years ago, we took Shane out of his “home” school (from which he could have taken a bus) and put him into a different school, which requires us to shuttle him back and forth to school every day. There is simply no bus transportation from his school to our house.

But, because Shane’s school has the GT (Gifted & Talented) program, they do have a bus to Shane’s former school. Shane may still have to wait a few minutes there – but hopefully, the bus and I would arrive at almost the same time, and Shane would be comfortable, dry and with kids his own age until then.

So I called Shane’s school to find out how to get Shane onto the GT bus.

“You have to call the transportation depot,” said the school’s summer secretary. “We can’t get involved in bus activity.”

So I called the bus depot. The bus lady told me, “If your child is not in the magnet program, he can’t ride that bus.”

I explained my situation in much greater detail than she required. I went on and on and on. Then I pleaded, “Isn’t there some way we can get him onto that bus?”

She put me on hold for a long, long, long time. So long, in fact, that I got distracted and wrote an entire email to Shane’s principal, reminding him that I am interested in setting up a magic program for Shane after school in the fall. About the time I hit “send,” the bus lady returned to the phone.

“We don’t encourage ride-hopping,” she said, “and we can’t encourage him to do regular ride-alongs.”

I had no idea what she was saying to me.

“I don’t understand what you are saying to me,” I said.

“We can’t encourage him to ride that bus,” she said, “but if he gets on it ….” She stopped without completing her thought.

At first, I was a complete moron. “So what should I do?” I asked.

She sighed. “We can’t encourage him to ride that bus.”

“Right, but how can I …?”

Then I understood.

So, that’s one resolved logistical nightmare. We can move on now, to number two – whatever it may be.

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