The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 7, 2005


Sketches of Carlisle: school buses
Their towering yellow presence on the back roads around town remind us that another school year has begun. As a bus comes up over the hill, the whistle and whine of its tires give warning of its approach. "The bus is coming!" children announce as they hoist their backpacks. The door springs open and they are whisked away for another school day.

Except for the driver, the bus ride is a child's world few adults see. Talking and playing with friends, looking at a magazine with a seatmate or out the window, it's a social, in-between time of day for kids. Traveling over the twisting, curving roads, the kids look forward to familiar bumps along the way when they get bounced up in their seats.

The bus drivers show up faithfully each day in the fine, mellow fall weather but also in rain, snow, cold, and finally, heat again. Keeping an eye on the children in the rear view mirror as they drive, they know who needs to be watched and told to sit down in their seats. Most know their students' names and see them grow from year to year. Anyone who has ridden a bus with kids knows the noise level. The drivers are not appreciated enough for the kindness and patience they show to children on their daily routes.

Fall brings mixed feelings. Some parents feel wistful at the ending of summer and its freedom to escape school routines and schedules. Others are grateful for the changing season, to start a new project, or job, or to find a quiet moment. Most feel a little of both as the school bus rounds the bend.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito