This statement couldn't be more true than it is today. When we decided that older son would accompany me to the Big City, we were told that parents arrange carpooling at the parents' night before school started. I got the impression there wouldn't be any issue with transportation. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite like imagined. It was left to us to contact parents who signed up on a list. I contacted one of the two parents who live in the same 'burb only to be told that she and the other parent in the 'burb had already set up a carpooling arrangement and, "just because our kids go to the same school doesn't mean I trust you with my child."
I could understand her sentiment if this was a school of 500 kids and the parents hadn't been afforded the opportunity to meet. We are instead involved in a program with about 40 kids. I made an effort to talk to this mom at the parents' night and was blown off. Instead, I probably live close to the one psychotic parent who thinks every adult out there is a potential child molester or murderer. Unfortunately, there aren't any other parents close enough to make carpooling viable.
Perhaps I'm not paranoid enough?
I'm really kicking myself because I had thought to teach older son about riding the bus this summer. I have a bit of anxiety about my mother's method of teaching: "Here's 10 bucks. Figure out how to ride the bus. Get to a pay phone if you don't make it home before sunset."
I love the fact that I grew up in a small town.
I neglected to do this, however, because older son learned how to ride bike and the only place he ever really wants to go is the library. Given it is three blocks from our place in Fargo, riding the bus seemed like a trivial issue.
Yesterday, however, it became paramount. So I spent the afternoon teaching him. I rode up to his school and rode with him home. We covered etiquette (don't talk to anyone except the bus driver, move out of the way for eldery or handicapped folks), navigation (effectively underscored because I accidentally got off at the wrong stop and we had to reboard a later bus), transfers, and all the other goodies of knowledge I could think to dispense.
I hope it sunk in because he's going to have to get home himself today. Today my heart is going to be on that bus. At least, however, my heart has a cell phone and fully-loaded bus pass. I keep reminding myself of this because otherwise the anxiety would be way too much to handle.
As anxious as I am, I feel better knowing that I'm not convinced everyone out there has the intention of hurting my child.