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  • Drew McGill

Catch the Bus

Updated: May 19

Life as a parent isn’t a life everyone chooses. However, this choice, or this role, is personal and whichever path leads you there, by nature is neither good or bad, or right or wrong. Life as a parent can be fulfilling and most definitely has its ups and downs. As the father of a daughter, who at the time I sit here and write this story is a toddler not quite yet 3, I have already experienced so many dynamic moments. I do choose to share mostly the moments that fill my heart, because they are a more accurate reflection as to how I particularly see my daughter. We indeed have already had our disagreements, but overall she is the most beautiful thing in my life.


Coraline Poe, CP, Peanut, Baby Bird/Bear, Bubba, and Queen Elsa. She will answer to them all, plus a few more. She is indeed the center of the universe, at least the one my wife and I have created for her. I’m afraid to seem like a cliche here, but I have to say she is a very special little girl. Her energy seems to know no bounds and her imagination is limitless. Some days she won’t even allow me to call her by her name, or any of her nicknames, because she decided to be Buzz Lightyear or Princess Anna. She keeps us on our toes as she is always on her feet exploring anything she can, and often trying to commit harrowing stunts throughout the house. The other day I had a moment with her I will always remember. One of the things she is currently always excited to see are the school buses that pass by our house. She has so much love for school buses, that she has school bus rain boots, 3 school bus toys, a school bus tent that is always set up and her 2nd birthday was school bus themed.


One afternoon, Coraline, my wife Amanda, and I were all sitting in the living room. School was letting out and we could see all the parents queuing up to pick up their kids. We live directly across the street from a middle school and this has become an indicator to us that the buses are about to pass by. This particular afternoon was unseasonably warm so I decided it would be fun to take Peanut outside to watch the buses up close instead of through our foggy 100 year old picture window. I always get excited to dress Bubba up in cute clothes, but at the same time, I needed to hurry to catch the buses. I just threw her in her pair of bus rain boots, she was already wearing a grey “Ohio'' tee and sparkly teal tights with a soft denim jacket, and took off out the door. She knew what was going on the whole time.


CP is a very smart kid and since she knew what time it was, as soon as the storm door swung open-- just the slightest bit, she forced it the rest of the way open with her palm and sprinted across our front porch toward the front step. Despite me hollering at her as I hurriedly tried to catch up, she spun around, and on all fours backed down the 2 cement stairs to our front sidewalk and ran toward the road. Within a second I had leapt across the porch, down the stairs, and had grabbed her by the hood of her jacket before she got too close to the street for my comfort. After I had tamed the wild-ling, I crouched down behind her sitting on my heels. She leaned back into me and rested her arms upon my knees until the first bus came into view when she jumped out of excitement and yelled “BUS! BUS!” all the while ramming the top of her head into my chin and knocking me onto the seat of my pants. She hardly noticed, even after saying her name through gritted teeth and rubbing my chin, she was simply too excited and I was too happy for her to continue worrying about my sore chin. I re-positioned behind her, a little safer this time, and held onto her waist as she stood and smiled and scanned from the buses to me and back. When the kids began to notice her, some of them got excited at the cute little baby watching their buses pass by and they waved at her.


Coraline didn’t notice so I told her “Bubba the kids are waving to you”, so she reached her arm straight out and began to wave her little hand side to side. One of the bus drivers noticed her waving. The bus driver turned around and I could see her yelling toward the back of the bus. She could have been yelling anything, but the context of what she had said became apparent shortly after she had turned back around. In a moment a barrage of adolescent faces filled the windows of the side of the bus, some high, some low, all smiling and excited, waving vigorously. Baby Bird noticed immediately and was absolutely elated. She started jumping up and down waving with all her might at the bus of kids that had given her so much attention. I can only imagine the status that these kids riding on this incredible machine must hold in her heart given her love for buses.


She started laughing and yelling “Uh Dada, uh buses, uh kids, wave!” I started laughing and said “Ya Bubba the kids are waving, wave back buddy” and she stood there and waved until the very last bus passed out of sight. There had to have been at least 10 buses and I have to say the entire time she waved it was cute and I never tired of it.


This is a moment that I will always cherish. The bus driver that rallied her kids and those kids that answered her call, have given me a memory that will stay with me forever. It wasn’t anything that is objectively exceptional or grand, but for me and my Baby Bear, it was subjectively magical. If I could only ever ask to see more moments where she is that happy then I will never have to ask for any other thing for as long as I breathe.


I cannot say if she will remember this as she gets older. I would hope that she remembers something of it. Realistically she is very young and likely won’t remember, but it most certainly will be a story I share with her. Hopefully along with many more like it. Like I said, being a parent isn’t for everyone and it has its ups and downs, it’s good moments, it’s bad moments and it’s “oh my god!” moments, but it can be very fulfilling. For those that choose this path or for those that have it thrust upon them, I wish you these moments and many of them, because after everything fades to time, they are all that matter.



Bio:

Drew is a Barista, a husband, and a father, among many other things. He comes from a small town in Ohio, and still calls it home. He left for a while to live life and do some adventuring with his wife. As they were getting ready to get married, they both thought it was important to move back near family so they could start one of their own. He loves the outdoors, art, music, science, archaeology, history, literature, architecture, and so many other things. He considers himself to be an intellectual and intelligent, but guesses that’s relative. What he is, undoubtedly, is very inquisitive. He doesn’t always need an answer to his questions, because sometimes the best thing about trying to find answers is chasing a mystery.


Cover Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

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