Most days, I leave for school by 7:15 and the drive is busy with my fellow commuters, many of them familiar to me after years of this morning journey. Yesterday, I found myself driving to work later then usual thanks to a professional day in lieu of classes. My usual commuter buddies were long gone but the school bus crowd was present. Traffic is slower when school busses are around and so it was that at each light, I found myself alongside a bus headed to a local middle school.
Alongside each window were students headed to their school day. I saw kids sleeping against the window. I saw kids in conversation with one another. In another window sat a kid resting his notebook against the seat I’m front of him, completing some homework. In a few windows sat boys and girls peering outside the bus.
I spend my days in the company of middle schoolers and I’m well-aware of the ways in which they occupy their time. More than most people, I know the hopes and dreams they nurture, sometimes out loud and sometimes secretly. I know the ways that they can be good and kind. I know the ways in which they can be unruly and mean. As that little microcosm of my world turned into the school, I imagined the students within collecting their things (and leaving a few behind….they are middle schoolers after all). I thought of them exiting the bus to face the school day. Some of them excited; some of the them sad; most of them somewhere in between. All of them likely to feel a whole bunch more emotions over the course of their day.
I drove on but I thought of them all day, sending them good thoughts and the hope that their days would have more joy than despair; that they would have the courage to persevere when the path is rough. I want that for all the children I see; those in my classes and those on busses that pass me by. For all the children in our world, if I’m being honest. It seems like such a small wish to make, the least we can give them. I know that it’s not.