“Yes! That’s the one,” I told him for what was easily the hundredth time. Anders’ soon to be school is only a couple of miles from our home and we pass it daily. His innocent question was the beginning of a debate between my husband and I, one we have been discussing for over a year now, but have yet to reach an agreement.
We have each presented our case to the other and then resolved to stand our ground, bringing us to a months long stalemate. That is, until yesterday when Anders weighed in with his opinion on the matter. So, what is this argument that has us living in a house divided?
It’s seems silly now that I’m sitting down to write about it, but my husband and I have been at odds for months over whether we will drive Anders to school or let him take the bus. I, of course, favor driving him while my husband feels that allowing our son to ride the school bus is both easier on us and a childhood rite of passage Anders must endure.
While nothing makes my heart sink more than the thought of putting my baby on a bus and then watching that bus drive away, this is not entirely about my unwillingness to accept the fact that my son is growing up. My main concern centers around the fact that I believe buses to be a bullying hot spot. I have long considered them a weakness in the school system’s security and some of the worst experiences I had during elementary and middle school as a child occurred on a bus or at a bus stop. The supervision just isn’t there.
My husband maintains that Anders’ trip is a short one and the probability of bus ride shenanigans is low and the problem can be addressed if or when it occurs. We were in the middle of rehashing these tired arguments when Anders piped up from the back seat.
“Mom, I want to ride the bus, okay?” I stopped talking and turned to face him.
“Okay, Anders, but can I ask why?”
“Because I don’t know what it’s like to ride a school bus. I have to ride one to find out.”
Anders had the final say that day. Finding the balance between protecting my children from harm and letting them find their own way will always be my greatest struggle as a parent.