Best Bus Driver Ever

I never thought I would be involved in a car chase, but couple weeks back, I found myself behind the wheel of my mini-van, tailing a big yellow school bus. At least my target was pretty easy to follow. How and why did I get into that particular chase?

There are some things you don’t want to hear when your child steps off the bus. The phrase that came out of my ten-year-old’s mouth recently was one of them: “Mom! I just had the worst bus ride ever! I was eating a birthday treat I got in class, and I dropped my retainer!”

I got a little heated and said, “Why didn’t you stay on the bus and look for it?”


She replied, “I didn’t know what to do! I just got off where I’m supposed to get off!” So, after the obligatory, “Do you know how much a new retainer costs?” lecture, and thoughts of squished, trampled retainers running through my head, I called up the district transportation and explained my dilemma.

“Well, since your driver needs to go to the high school next, you might be able to catch him before he leaves there,” answered the friendly voice on the end of the line. With a quick “thank you”, I hung up, strapped everyone in the mini-van and set off on what turned out to be a slow speed car chase.

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In driving towards the high school, we encountered the bus. I simply followed it until the driver stopped at the curb, waiting for his next set of students.

When he pulled over, ten-year-old and I jumped out, ran to the bus, arms flailing, and explained our situation.

“Oh,” he said, “whenever I get done with one route, I check the floor for anything. Does this look like your retainer?” He pulled out the retainer, miraculously intact and unsquished.

After many profuse thank yous and some reminders to ten-year-old not to put the retainer back in her mouth until it had been thoroughly sanitized, I thanked my lucky stars for a bus driver who went above and beyond, grateful to not have a retainer to replace.

Then, of course, last week during recess, another kid ran into ten-year-old, splitting open her lip and breaking a wire on the retainer in the process. I guess two retainer miracles in a month were too much to hope for. Still, a repair costs less than a replacement, and I now get to say that I successfully chased down a big yellow Twinkie on wheels.


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