Maybe this series of posts should be called “Costa Rica School Bus,” since that has felt like the biggest hurdle, and it’s occupied a lot of blog space. Here’s where being a parent is interesting. I can’t turn to anyone except Lyon and ask, “Do you think I should let my two-year-old ride a bus with no seat belts on a bumpy road in a foreign country with a driver whose last name I don’t know?” Nobody else can answer that for us.
I rode the bus. I saw the daycare. I met the bus driver. I trust the school to contract a safe bus company, I saw the parents putting their kids on and taking them off the bus (they look sane). We are comfortable with it. So it’s really up to Bilingual Baby now. If she didn’t want to ride the bus, we would rent a car and drive her every day. I would never make her be in a situation where she felt unsafe.
So this morning, I packed her backpack, and I also packed mine, just in case Jojo changed her mind at the last minute and I had to jump on the bus with her. But she didn’t. When the bus came, I sat her in a seat, gave her a kiss and told her to hold on. She dutifully grabbed the bar on the seat in front of her and I said goodbye to her and the other kids. And they were off. That was 8:15.
As soon as I got home I texted her teacher and asked her to let me know when the bus arrived and whether Jojo looked happy when she got off. At 8:35 I had a message, accompanied by a picture from her teacher saying she had arrived safely and happily.
At 2:15 she was back in my arms, tired and a little shell-shocked. But when I asked her whether she’d had a good day at school and whether she liked taking the bus, she said yes to both. And as she looked around, she realized she would hardly have time to recover because the neighbor kids had come with me to pick her up and were ready to play. “Your friends have been waiting for you,” I said. And it was true, they’d been periodically peering into the yard to see if Bilingual Baby was home from school for the past hour and a half.
More on her neighbor friends next.