At The School Bus Stop? Smile!

MY VIEWS, PARENTING | | August 31, 2011 at 9:34 pm

My 6 year old started 1st Grade yesterday and she really wanted to ride the bus on her 1st day. As we approached the bus stop we noticed several parents standing there with kids. All were busy chatting amiably, which I would assume to mean they all knew each other. As they continued to sip their coffee (assuming it to be), they did not even give a passing glance as we approached. Not only that, but as we stepped on the sidewalk to wait, they moved aside and had their back towards us. Who does that?

I asked my daughter if she was excited. She begged me to drive her saying that she was feeling shy and no-one wanted to speak to her. I stared at parents and children alike hoping to make eye-contact and I might as well have been invisible. Who does that?? Really? I could hardly blame my kiddo for feeling out of place because I started to feel that way too. Finally another kiddo walked passed us and was walking to school so she walked a bit of the way with her.

This morning we made another trial but the grapes were already sour to her but we made arrangement for a little girl from her class to sit with her when she returned with the bus. Since on the 1st day we picked her up so she could attend her therapy sessions, this would hopefully be her 1st trip on the bus. Hubby (the sweetheart) got to the school to make sure she really got on the bus while I awaited on the other end with little sister in one hand and a Starbucks drink in the other.

Children emulate us. I plead with you to look around and see anyone alone or new and give them at least a smile. Maybe you recall the day you needed it, maybe you never did but it means the world to someone out there. Go on, smile!


  1. 1
    Brooke says:

    Our first day at the bus stop was similar to the experience you describe. A child was cold and a parent was cold, and this was after we reached out to them to say a few words. However, this is week two of school and I’m happy to report that the cold little girl, jumped to her feet to say hello and to chat with my daughter.

    Hold out hope, your neighbors will warm soon. I’m sure of it :)

  2. 2
    Amanda Starr says:

    That’s not nice. I have social and general anxiety therefore it’s VERY hard for me around any people let alone ones I’ve never met so I’m not one for chitchat but it’s not that hard to give a smile and hello or at lest a friendly nod. I think a lot of adults need a reminder to treat others how they’d want to be treated, I try my best to make sure my daughter knows and respects that. Hopefully it will get better!

  3. 3
    Amy Kelly says:

    Oh my gracious! I am so sorry you had that experience. I honestly can’t imagine that happening in my community – but then again, my first kindergartener is having his first bus ride next week. I certainly hope it will be different – for both of us! LOL! I agree wiht Brooke that maybe (hopefully) you just have to give it time!

    • 3.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I am sure people will definitely warm up – but I really wanted to write this post because 1st days get remembered and we all need to know how simple actions like a smile make the memory. While her experience was not miserable at all – a simple smile would sure have helped. Wishing your sweet pea a wonderful first day of school.

  4. 4
    Melinda says:

    I was saddened to read your post. I am so sorry that you and your daughter were faced with this on such a joyous day! I hope that she had a wonderful first day of first grade, I know that my little one has been bouncing off the walls at how great 1st grade is. Wishing you a year of smiles and giggles!!

    • 4.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thanks Melinda – she moved past it quickly but I did want to highlight it so hopefully more people will reach out to newer peeps. She is loving it so far but is pooped by end of day – it is a super long day :-)

  5. 5
    Kate Hayes says:

    Oh Niri…that sucks. I get that attitude from people ALL THE TIME here in New England, pretty much everywhere I go. And I know the natives disagree and say that once you get to know them, they’re pretty nice – which is true – but I have never lived in a place where people are so cold and dismissive of anyone they don’t know. I hope the bus stop warms up fast for her!

    • 5.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Kate, bless your heart for this comment. I constantly feel like I should not have to make this amount of effort for people to just be nice.

  6. 6
    Alicia says:

    Oh Niri.. you know how this makes me feel. How awful for a grown adult to ignore a child or even another adult! There are shy children and adults (that’s me!) out there that need encouragement and to feel noticed. Charles Shwabb once said “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best person is by appreciation and encouragement.” That is something that I try to live by and think about; when I’m around children especially. It takes a village to raise a child and the village needs to be encouraging and appreciative to everyone! Like I said in my post about BlogHer ’11, you made a world of difference in my BlogHer ’11 experience because you made a point to introduce me to people I didn’t know and who otherwise might not have made eye contact with me. It’s amazing to me that adults will purposely not make eye contact with a child or another adult. I’m very sorry that happened to you both! You are a strong woman and can handle crappy people like this but your daughter shouldn’t have to. That’s what upsets me most.

    • 6.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      You know 2 weeks later and I still find it difficult to see how people don’t lift their heads and pretend we are there. No wonder she hates going with the bus. She does come back with the bus but I feel her pain as I stand amongst people who act that way with even me. I will just say this is one of the things on the east coast that annoy me.

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