Do You Ride This Bus?

Shane gets overlooked.

I worry about this, but I thought it was just me. Sometimes I have trouble picking him out of a crowd. He blends in beautifully and I am always delighted to find him, but he has been known to go right past me without my seeing him.

This must be my fault. He’s my second child, so I am less careful with him than I was with Dylan. He’s quieter than Dylan, less demanding. And anyone living in a household with Dylan gets less attention than he should. Dinnertime conversation often goes something like this:

“Dylan, when I call you downstairs you need to come downstairs! I shouldn’t have to go up and get you! Don’t tell me it’s MY fault! But it is your fault! Stop yelling at me! I am NOT yelling! I am just stating a fact! Well, it’s a fact that I just can’t always hear you when you call me! And I don’t even like this dinner! Well you’re going to EAT this dinner! But I TOLD you I don’t like it! I don’t care! Eat it anyway! … So, Shane, how was your day?”

It’s a sad commentary on the little guy’s life. But it’s not just a problem at home.

Shane got on the bus to ride home from school last week, and the bus driver stopped him.

“Do you ride this bus?” he asked Shane.

“Yes,” Shane said.

“Well, I’ve never seen you before,” said the bus driver.

“You see me every day,” Shane said.

“I don’t remember you,” the bus driver said. “Sit down in the front seat.”

Shane sat down next to the driver.

“Do you know this boy?” he asked the next child who got onto the bus.

“No,” said the kid.

“Do you know this boy?” the bus driver asked another kid.

“No,” said that one.

This went on for several minutes. No one recognized Shane.

Finally, a girl in the back of the bus saw what was going on, and she came forward. “I know him,” she said.

“Does he ride this bus?” the bus driver asked the girl.

“Yes,” she said.

“Okay,” the bus driver said. He looked at Shane suspiciously. “You can go sit where you want.”

So Shane went and found a seat – his normal seat – on his bus.

I’m not sure if I’m amused or appalled by this incident. On one hand, it says a lot about the bus driver – who is probably a total idiot. But maybe he’s also being extra cautious.

On the other hand, what would have happened if no student had vouched for Shane’s existence? Would Shane have been denied the great privilege of riding his own bus home? Or would he have been forced to sit at the front of the bus until the bus driver started to recognize him?

I am making a conscious effort to notice Shane now. I started by changing my Facebook profile to Shane’s play announcement. He’s very excited to be in a play this weekend.

And I am planning some special time with him, like we did when he was much younger. Shane needs some special time. He deserves some special time.

And for me, time with Shane is absolutely treasured – so I am really looking forward to it.

The bus driver doesn’t know what he is missing.

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