The last couple of days has been colder than normal…we are already in the 30’s and low 40’s. I have been asking the kids on the bus..”where is your jacket?”, and for the ones who willingly tell me its in their backpack, I say ” put it on, someone made you bring it, so that you wear it”…Today, five year old “angel” (that is really her name, and she fits it very well) climbed on the bus and said, “Miss Darla, look I have a jacket, and I have it on……my mom said you are a pain in her butt”, so I smiled at her and she at me, and I told her to tell her mom “thank you”. LOL Shortly after this, I unload the elementary children at school, but Angel stays on the bus with the other Kindergarten kids, as I pick up more kids to go to the Kindergarten Center. She stands up when the others have left, and promptly reminds me that I no longer say “where is my kindergarten let me see your hands? stay on the bus” I explained that I don’t need to do that anymore, because I know who they are, and they are so smart to know to stay on the bus. She looked so sad and said “Just do it one more time”. Although it seemed silly, I did it anyway. I aim to please! She came running down the aisle and gave me a big hug and said “Here I am, your kindergarten kid!” LOL
Everyday I am more amazed at how things we take for granted, like someone just talking to us, or smiling, or caring enough to say “put your jacket on” means so much to someone who doesn’t get this in thier life. I know what my childhood was like, but I did have a mom who wanted to see a jacket on…simple things, yet when they are not present leave such a void. This year I have more kids without parents than I did before, and lots with parents in Jail. Its so sad, and after the last 8 weeks, I am finally breaking through to some of them. I get a smile, and at times a laugh.
I have one little girl on the Kindergarten bus who stops in front of me every day and says “Miss Darla are you coming back for me”. But the one that broke my heart today is Madeline. Her hair is never combed, and is always very very quiet, no smile, fear all over her, and I asked her today if she would be my line leader and lead the kids out of the bus, and she just came closer to me and said “do you think you could be my mom?” I don’t know her story, but my prayers are going up for her and the other ones on my bus. Everyday, I pray “please don’t let them leave here with out you”… I get weary and tired, and then these little ones break my heart, and make me laugh, and fill me with great joy…and I remember why God put me in the bus, and after turning my world upside down to get me here..OH how HE loves them!