Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Something You Once Said Comes Back To Lift Your Spirits

 I was a substitute school bus driver for a couple years and then I got on full time and had my own route. Bus #49 - south and west of Corning. I really enjoyed driving the bus and loved most of my kids. I believe I was a good driver - very conscientious for the safety of my charges. I did my best to maintain order on the bus, but you can only regulate so much.....
The last person on the end of my route was a little second grade girl. She had blond hair, often worn in pig tails. She had the sweetest disposition. I liked her a lot. She was a little on the chubby side - which only made her cuter - but it gave the other kids something to tease her about. If teasing got loud and out of control, I could tell the kids to pipe down, but if it was done quietly, it was hard to do anything about.
One afternoon when I looked up into the rear view mirror I could see that Anna was almost ready to cry. After all the other students had been dropped off and we got to her home and stopped, Anna came forward to get off the bus. I asked her to wait a moment. I put my arm around her and told her I was sorry about the other kids calling her "Anna Banana" and teasing her about her weight. I told her she was not always going to be chubby, that someday she would start growing and lose her "baby fat" - that she would be thin and pretty. I told her I thought she was beautiful inside and out and she only had to wait a few years for everyone else to see that. 
I could only hope that my words helped her that day. I didn't know they did until several years later when I was visiting with her grandmother one day and she thanked me for what I had said to her granddaughter. She told me Anna related my words to her and that she said they made her feel better about herself. Knowing that I had helped a sweet little girl made my day better - years later.
My granddaughter, Katrina, (here with her little boy and Grandpa last summer) is good about calling me regularly to see how we're doing and keep me updated on her busy life. During one of those calls a couple months ago, she had been cleaning the bathroom which made her think about me so she just had to call and tell me something she had never told me before:
"I remember being at your house one time when I was little and you were cleaning your bathroom," she said. "I was so grossed out because you were cleaning the toilet by hand. You said that was the only way to get it really clean. I remembered that all those years and now that is the only way I clean my bathroom, too."
I got such a kick out of hearing that. I had no idea I had made an impression on the little girl. We laughed and laughed about it - a real "made my day" story.

I hope words you may speak now will someday come back to lift your spirits. It is a good feeling.

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