Of all of the people who have a hand in your kid’s life, you sometimes find the greatest heroes in the unlikeliest places. I’ve had issues with some of the people who play the most influential roles in my son’s life, the ones I thought should have been the most trustworthy and caring. Sometimes the most caring, inspiring influences in a child’s life are the ones who appear to be the outliers. These people are heroes to me.
When my boys were toddlers and I was a SAHD, I loved the Playhouse Disney show “Higglytown Heroes.” (Russian Doll-type folks. You know ’em, right?) It heavily appeals to my longing for community and connectedness. The show gets at this very notion; everyday people–neighbors, friends, community workers–doing things for others, things they do well that the rest of us benefit from. They take their individual talents and make the most of them. In an episode called “Catch up with Ketchup,” the show highlighted a bus driver hero, voiced by Stuart Pankin.
Even though she’ll probably never see this, I want to share my gratitude for Priscilla. (Great name, right?) Priscilla drives a school bus. Technically, it’s a ServiCar bus. The school district we live in does not have buses, but they hire ServiCar to transport the kids with special needs to and from school, which I so appreciate.
So why is Priscilla my everyday hero? Well, she probably has to get up before dawn to go to work, she drives a “short bus” full of differently-abled kids every day, and dang it if she doesn’t have the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. Every. Day. She’s always got something nice to say. She always makes my grumpy morning butt smile. She gives Finn a high five, invites him to pick out a book for the ride, and drives away with a smile, on to make the next family’s day a little brighter.
And, man, isn’t that what makes life great? It is to me. A smile, a connection, a partner in making Finn’s world a more comfortable, welcoming place to navigate. When I talk about seeing magic in the world, this is what I’m talking about. These are the places I find God.
I have no idea who Priscilla really is; what joys she’s shared, what heartaches she’s suffered, who she’s loved or who she’s lost. What I do know is that whatever experiences she’s had, they’ve made her a beautiful person. Strike that; that’s too passive. Whatever experiences she’s had, she has decided to be a beautiful person.
And here’s the thing: We’re all connected. What one person does for another affects their attitudes and behaviors (including the original person–it feeds the source), which affects the attitudes and behaviors of others still, and so on. Therefore, what one person does for another, s/he does for humanity.
So I thank you, Priscilla, Queen of the Short Bus, for your contributions to humanity. Thank you… Thank you…
Appreciating from the bungalow,
P.S. Expressing gratitude fills me up! Who have you thanked today?