Waiting at the school bus stop is an interesting adventure sometimes. My youngest son is still in elementary school and I’m fortunate enough to go to the bus stop with him – sometimes our dog Jimmy goes too when he isn’t too comfy laying on our bed.
The bus stop is full of talking, laughing, kids doing what kids do. Sometimes it is quiet. Other times it is loud. And on occasion it’s a bit challenging. My son usually just comes over, gets in line and waits patiently for the experience to be over (at least that’s what it looks like to me).
There are some kids that are older and several that are younger. I imagine that the challenges that take place at our bus stop are not unique and they will take place at future bus stops long after I am no longer at the bus stop.
The biggest challenge that I watch with intrigue has to do with the line. Specifically where people end up in line. Some kids, like mine, really don’t care where they are in line. They get that regardless of where they are in line, everyone ends up the same way – on the bus in their assigned seat. It’s usually the older kids who get this concept. But…
The younger kids haven’t quite grasped this idea. It is just about every day that there is some kind of maneuvering in order to be first in line. Sometimes I see it happen with kids getting to the bus stop extra early, just so they can be first in line. Lately, some of the boys have resorted to getting to the bus stop early, dropping off their bag, and then going back home for whatever they need to do. Occasionally there is taunting of other kids who end up further back in the line. When this happens, the parents are pretty quick to shut it down. Sometimes there is figuring out ways to be invited in line, so as to be ahead of other kids. It’s all very interesting. And a bit annoying, to be perfectly honest. Where any of these kids end up in line is pointless. Being at the front of the line doesn’t make a hill of beans difference for anything. Yet, when I see someone cry because of the line, I can’t help but shake my head and wonder why – why does the line matter to some? Why are some kids willing to go out of their way to “be better” than other kids by being at the front of the line when it ultimately doesn’t matter? Why does any of this annoy me – it’s just a bunch of kids wasting time and energy on something that doesn’t ultimately matter. Why?
I don’t have the answer to that. I’m just tired of the senselessness of it all. How many other senseless things do we create and participate in that ultimately don’t matter? How many imaginary things do we place value on that are just imaginary? How many ways do we try to show that we are better than others, when in reality we are just like everyone else in line as far as value and worth go? We have different talents and skills, but our value is inherently the same.
How many lines are we adults standing in and trying to move up to the front of when it really doesn’t matter? Why are we wasting time and energy trying to move up in meaningless lines when we should just be grateful that we are getting on a bus? Maybe my son is wiser than me – he just stands there with no expression at all. Just waiting. Never annoyed. Never bothered. Just waiting. He knows that regardless of where in line he and everyone else stands – they all get on the same bus and go to the same place. And when they get on the bus, the line is forgotten. There’s other lines that will take its place throughout the day. Each one just as contrived and meaningless as the next.
Maybe my son understands something that I don’t. That there is line for everything. But really, the lines don’t matter. The line just show us for who we are and how we treat others – regardless of our age. We have a choice. We can try to get to the front of the pointless line. Or we can treat others in the line with respect and gratitude that they are in the line.