I'm not sure if it was easier or harder being thousands of miles away during that particular week. I left Roanoke all confused and stressed out. The school had suggested my kids ride the short bus.
When I realized this wasn't a flip suggestion, or a joke- I was freaked out! I couldn't even say the words without bursting into tears. I don't remember exactly when I heard the term, short bus, the first time- but I knew it was sarcastic and was used to poke fun. In all the years we threw the phrase around at home, over dinner, in the office, at church- I never thought about the kids, or their parents. Now, I am going to be the mother of not one, but two kids on the short bus. Yep, I felt guilty. I felt sorry for all the jokes. And, I felt scared.
Let's keep it real people, I didn't want my kids on the short bus.
Now what do I say when I hear a joke about the short bus? This changes everything.
Back in CA, each night as I sat in my hotel room I mulled over the decision. The pros and the cons. In my heart I knew at least for now this was probably the best thing for my kids. I was still struggling.
Finally getting home after a week apart from Rex, we teamed up that Friday afternoon and headed to the kids play therapist . The goal was to talk it through without the kids and come to a final decision. Even in talking through it with her, I couldn't talk about it without crying then I'd giggle. I was all over the place with this.
She asked me what the short bus represented to me. I admitted it represented -abnormal; mentally or physically disabled, less than. I don't want my kids to be the "less than" kids. The reality is they aren't less than kids. They just need some extra things to help them successful. Things not available on the regular bus. The decision was made.
Now- how to talk to the boys without mommy bursting into tears. How to make this a positive thing for them. Talk to them about what they might see on the new bus.
Oh, she also suggested we call it the small bus. Worked for me.
It's been a couple of weeks now, and I can talk about it without tears. My boys miss their friends, but they are doing well on the new small bus. Which, by the way isn't as small as I had imagined. I am past the blue handicapped sign that at first seemed to flash and announce to my neighbors that our family is different. The new driver is awesome. He actually speaks to us, all of us every morning. He smiles. And, while they say they hate the bus they are not fighting against it. They run down the driveway and sometimes forget to get the 2nd and 3rd kiss. (Isaiah still needs his wave) It is clear the new bus gives them safety and security. I'm sure the extra adults and seat belts help with that. And if nothing else, the convenience of the bus stopping at our own driveway almost makes it worth it, no more walking up the street.
So this week, I'm continuing my 1000 Gifts with being thankful for more hard decisions, new perspective and finding the positive in what seemed so negative. For all the moms and dads of special needs kids and their ability to make the decisions that are right for their own kids, knowing that sometimes it makes them the center of a joke to those who will never take a ride on the
1000 Gifts #574-602
learning new things, engine fixed before boarding plane, calls home, anticipation of seeing my husband and kids, hotel vouchers for unplanned overnights; the cheap hotel is not my home; plastic hairbrushes, a lesson in humility in the busiest airport, meeting the hard rocker on the flight home and a chance to share a bit of my faith, teens making good decisions, early early morning coffee in the airport, people watching and the reminder God created all of us unique, surprising Shayne and the smile on his face, Ms. Caldwell and the encouragement and nice things she said about my middle son, announcement of Baby Kirchener, warm fall days, Sunday lunch with my boys, a teenager who drives, rain falling on pumpkins, insurance OOP met for the year, playing bus and police with Elijah and Isaiah, a surprise visit from Audrey & making pie with Nae.
Okay, I"m all caught up now!
What 'ya thankful for?