Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bus Driver Bob

Yesterday was the last day of school for our daughter, Hannah. She has had a wonderful experience attending Gage Elementary in Rochester for the last three years.

I am an advocate for the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” Many people will make an investment into the development of our daughter. Yes, my wife, Amy, and I will have the strongest influence on her, but quality schools, quality churches, quality youth organizations, and quality (fill in the blank) will make a big difference.

One person who made an investment in our daughter was her bus driver, Bob. For the past three school years he has picked her up between 8:35 and 8:40 a.m. every school day.

Over time I gradually got to know Bob. When it was my turn to take Hannah to the bus stop I would usually have a classic Minnesota conversation with Bob in front of the bus door. We’d talk for thirty seconds about the weather, the quality of his bus, and any other easy topic. On the first day of school we would talk about the summer and pick right up where we had left the conversation the previous spring.

Our family gradually got to know Bob. We would see him and his family in restaurants around Rochester every now and then. Amy would send some treats to Bob every once in a while. We knew him, he knew us—he was and is “Bus driver Bob.”

When Bob saw the moving sign in front of our house in March he asked us about it. Since then our thirty second conversations in front of the bus door became about our move. We would briefly talk about the sale of our house, the new house, how our move was going.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Bob. Neither one of us shed a tear—we are Minnesotans, you know! But I walked away from that bus glad that Bob was Hannah’s bus driver. I always knew that when Hannah walked on the bus she was safe and in good hands.

No matter how strong we are, we all need people like Bob. Unassuming, unpretentious, behind-the-scenes folk who are happy to talk about the weather when that is the only topic that connects two people.

Our family is moving to Blaine next Monday, June 15th. I am taking a break from blogging until Wednesday, June 17th. I’ll be back then!

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