Monday, October 8, 2012

To Ride the Bus or Not to Ride the Bus

Story time with Collin (in the blue).  So darn cute to see him holding hands with his fellow preschoolers singing, "The more we get together."

I hit one of those parenting crossroads this morning.  I was faced with a decision that felt monumental and where I desperately wished there was some parenting manual that provided just the right answer to my dilemma.

Seven-year-old Connor has expressed some concerns about riding the bus.  As most of the conversations go with my male sons, the details are foggy.  What I have gathered is that there are some social issues (nothing major) swirling around the bus that have negatively impacted Connor.  After he expressed these concerns, he fluttered his big blue eyes and asked if I would drive him to school.

To make him ride the bus or not to ride the bus, that was the question.

About a zillion years ago, I remember riding the school bus.  I recall having no redeeming experiences within the confines of the bus.  Without any close supervision, colorful language and mischief ran amok.  I could easily remove my bus experiences from my vault of childhood memories and still be a happy and well-adjusted adult.

But what should I do for my child?

On one hand:

I can't shelter him from everything.  He needs to learn independence.

On the other hand:

He is only seven-years-old.  Shouldn't I protect him from challenging situations?

Back to the first hand:

He needs to work things out with his peers.  It's the only way he's going to learn.

Then the other hand:

But can't he experience peer situations when there's a teacher or parent present?

And so my thoughts fluctuated back and forth until I felt dizzy.

When the bus rolled around, I still hadn't come up with a solution.  I was still debating when the bus whizzed past our stop and Connor was still pacing our kitchen floor.  The bus was gone.  The decision was made for me.  Connor would be a car rider, at least for the day.

I wish I could end this blog by revealing a parenting "aha" moment I had where the perfect solution fell into my lap.  Such has not been the case.  But for now, we're taking it one bus ride at a time.  

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