The wheels on the bus go round and round . . . all through the town.
Of course, we all know this song, and on many levels, it conjures up varying emotions and memories of our childhood school days.
For Chaim Boruch, the school bus is an integral part of his day.
His yellow school bus is greeted with a very loud “Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh” (his happy sound) as he hears the engine rumble down our block. The tall doors open, inviting him to step into the opportunities of the day. The warmth inside combats the 7:00 a.m. morning chill, keeping him cozy in his seat, bouncing along to school.
Yet, without a doubt, his bus drivers have always merited the most credit for making his bus experience truly a favorite part of his life.
But this year, we were introduced to a new driver who brings him home from school each day. A driver who is completely reserved, cold and uninterested in connecting with Chaim Boruch.
So, after trying to show him, by example, how meaningful it is to interact with special needs children, I realized I was heading nowhere. It became a family project, and if you know our family . . . we’re a team!
But to no avail. We couldn’t get the bus driver to look at Chaim Boruch, let alone wave, say goodbye or smile at him!
So, I’ll admit it, I became like a mother tiger . . . maybe not my nicest quality, but this was my child! I was ready to write to the bus company, request a new driver, and more.
But my husband, who is so good at subduing the “tiger” within me, convinced me think more creatively.
Cookies! I’ll bake him cookies! Maybe he just needs some care and attention and kindness!
Nope. He didn’t need any cookies. My package, tied with a ribbon, no less, was received without gratitude or warmth.
One afternoon, I waited for his bus outside our home, and I decided I would simply communicate our needs to the bus driver. I merely mentioned that it would mean a lot to our family, and especially to Chaim Boruch, if he would just wave to him, smile and possibly say goodbye. He stared at me with this blank look, and I realized we would not elicit a smile, never mind a wave of the hand.
I spoke to Chaim Boruch about his bus driver. I felt that he needed to understand that sometimes, people let us down. That sometimes, during our ride through town, our journey through life, we get a driver who maybe shouldn’t be driving. We meet someone who might be suffering inside and doesn’t know how to welcome warmth and love. Someone whose vision is clouded, and is blind to the scenery on his or her bus route.
On some days, it is difficult to receive this negative vibe. It pulls us downward, creating stormy clouds that threaten the light that shines from within. Yet, with strength, and the inner will to live and love, we can open up our umbrella despite the gusty winds from others. An umbrella that not only protects our tender feelings, our vulnerability and our disappointments, but an umbrella that opens from the soul.
Our innermost place of perfection that allows imperfection to exist.
An umbrella that we may hold on to with all our might, in weather that only seemingly wishes to knock us down.
The spark that protects us, guides us and keeps us grounded, even when the wheels on the bus turn round and round without the melody of happy laughter.