05 April 2012
A Very Rare Bus Ride
As we come around Little Boar's Head, my car keeps veering off course and crossing the center yellow line because I can't take my eyes off the waves crashing against the rocks below. The surf is wild today and the surfers are lined up, waiting for the next curl. I love watching the spray fly off the top of the waves as they unfurl into the wind. Wispy, steady, almost like vapor.
"Liam," I say. "Look out the window."
"You have to look out the window whenever you get the chance because you won't live by the ocean very much longer."
"I know. I see it every day. Four times a day."
"Four times a day? What are you talking about?"
"This is where my bus goes."
What?! How did I miss this? This seems like something I should know. Like you should get a special robocall from the school informing us that our school bus passes something important. Like a nuclear power plant. Or the White House. "Good evening. This is your child's school. This call is to inform you that your child's bus will pass an important historical marker/ natural wonder with cultural and/or aesthetic significance. Please advise your child to look the window of his or her bus and appreciate said historical marker/natural wonder with cultural and/or aesthetic significance as we are not able to provide this experience for every student in our school. Thank you and enjoy a safe weekend. Click."
Liam looks out the Jeep window as we climb to the top of the rise that overlooks the rocky cliff.
"This is where I get scared," he says.
"What are you scared of?"
"That the bus will fall off the road and crash down the rocks and roll into the ocean."
Okay, that IS scary! Dammit, why did he have to put that in my head?! I can totally see that happening!
"You know that's not going to happen, right?"
"Liam, I want you to look out your bus window every single day and say "there's the Atlantic Ocean," and I want you to look at it hard and know that almost nobody gets to look at a scene like that every day on the school bus. Almost no one. Just you and the 30 kids on that bus. Physics won't let your bus fall toward the ocean so you don't have to worry about that. I don't want you to be a grown-up and say "When I was in 3rd grade, my school bus overlooked the Atlantic Ocean every single day - and I didn't appreciate it. Sometimes I didn't even look at it. Because I had no idea how rare and extraordinary that was." I want you to know how extraordinary that is. Get it?"