In my first two years driving bus I had a young man aboard who drove me absolutely crazy! Any kind of trouble he could get into, he would. I was constantly writing up bus reports and he was constantly being suspended off the bus. What irritated me the most though, was the kind of kid he was. He was bright, intelligent, charming, witty, talented, outgoing, honest, very attractive and, when he wasn’t misbehaving he was an absolute delight to have around. It drove me nuts that he simply couldn’t control his penchant for getting into trouble.
He graduated, much to my relief, and as I do for all my grade 8 grads, I wrote him a congratulations card wishing him the best in the future. His card was a bit different from the ones I usually write though. I told him honestly that he had been my biggest challenge thus far, and that he had driven me nearly insane over the past two years. But I told him that despite all of that, I believed in him. I could see the potential he had, and I was certain that if he could learn to harness his energy and control his actions, there would be nothing in life he couldn’t accomplish.
I’ve seen him a few times over the past three years. He’s in grade 11 now and I sometimes see him walking home from school. He always waves and smiles.
Tonight he was at St Pius when I was picking up there. He waited till most of the kids were on the bus and came to say hello to me. I asked him how he was doing, and he said fine. Then he came up onto the steps of the bus, which technically isn’t allowed. He said, “Do you remember the card you gave me when I graduated from here?” I said yes, I did. He went on, “I found it the other day and read it, and I thought I should stop by to tell you that I’ve really settled down. I haven’t been in trouble at all in the past two years, and I’m doing really well at school. I’m going to apply to university next year, for an engineering course. Thanks for believing in me.” And without another word he hopped off the bus and headed down the street, leaving me totally choked up and fighting back tears.
I can’t even begin to put into words how that has made me feel.