Call it good judgement, or perhaps just a mom being overprotective, but sometimes things just rub me the wrong way. Every year, Mikey had always taken the bus to and from school. At first, it made me uneasy, but after getting to know the drivers and matrons on the bus, I felt more comfortable. However, I was always on alert, always, because I really do not trust many people with my son.
Throughout his school years, we were always fortunate when it came to bus drivers. We had a great relationship with them, as well as with the matrons on the bus. You can always tell when someone really enjoys helping the kids, and when they don't. We always had a nice group of people working with him, so we were happy.
Fast forward to fifth grade. I am not sure what happened to our beloved driver, but one day he just disappeared. We never really found out what had happened, but a few other moms had told me he passed away. I felt terrible about that, because we really liked him. Obviously, a replacement was needed. When we initially met the new driver, something just didn't sit right with me. He was very nice, but almost too nice, and that made me a bit uneasy. I told myself that it was probably just me, and we went about our usual daily routines.
After awhile, I kept telling my husband that something about this guy bothered me. I found him almost annoying. Each day he would talk to me a bit too much....I can't explain it, but it made me uncomfortable. It was as if he was trying to ingratiate himself to us. It got to the point where I dreaded the bus pulling up. I would always get a big " Hello Barbara, God bless you ."
He also started asking me ,what I felt, were too many questions about Mikey. It was really getting on my nerves. I decided that I did not want Mikey on the bus anymore. Nothing happened, and he arrived home safely and promptly each day, but I couldn't shake this uneasy feeling I had.
One day, as I was walking in front of the school ,his bus was parked out front waiting for the kids. He opened his doors when I passed, as he did each day( there was no escaping this guy), and said, hey Barbara, I want to show you something. He handed me a picture of my son that he had taken while Mikey was on the bus. The picture clearly showed that the bus was parked in front of the school, but this upset me. I never had given him permission to take any pictures of my son, either verbally or in writing. I replied" What is this?when was this taken? He told me that he just wanted to show his wife pictures of all of the kids on his bus. This was not okay with me. At that moment, I was happy that I made the decision to take him off of the bus.
I mentioned it to a few other mothers, who said he did the same with them, and they found it very odd. I didn't want to have the guy lose his job, but this entire thing made me uncomfortable, and I have learned to always go with my gut. I did tell the school staff about it, but as of last year, he was still driving the bus.
Whether I was overreacting or not, I can't be sure, but I do feel that I made the right decision about driving him to school everyday. Mikey, is non verbal, so he cannot tell me when people take his picture, or much of anything else. In my mind, that makes him more vulnerable than the average child, and I refuse to ever allow my child to become a victim of anything.
For all I know, this driver may just have been an over zealous guy, however, I wasn't about to test that theory. Maternal instinct is an amazing thing, and I will continue to listen to mine every time.