For the past two years, Davey rode a special needs bus to preschool. The bus picked him up right in front of our house, had a ramp for his wheelchair, and an aid to help make transportation a breeze. This year Davey wanted to ride the bus with his friends and sisters. It's not been easy, but he loves it. Here's an excerpt from an email that my dad wrote to our extended family about Davey's first bus ride to school. My dad has the ability to say how I feel better than I do.
I just got off the phone with Millie. Our last few phone conversations have been focused on a mother's concerns as her child goes to school - really goes to school. This morning's send off to kindergarten was an event she found quite difficult. Had she done all she could do for Davey? How would he manage? Would he feel different? What would the stairs/stares be like? Would he feel lonely? Lots of mixed feelings.
Davey waited outside on the front steps for twenty minutes before Millie drove him and his sisters to the bus stop. When Davey and the girls arrived at the stop where several other kids were waiting, there was a big kid, a sixth grader, named Hunter. He shouted, "Davey! Davey! Are you really in kindergarten? You're riding on the same bus with me! Will you sit with me?" Hunter told Millie that he could and would carry Davey to his classroom if she told him which kindergarten room it was. Millie explained that the school would have wheelchair waiting for him. "Great! Then I can push him to his class, OK?" At this point, big sisters Kate and Josie said they could do it, feeling a little territorial, protective and maybe a little envious of the attention there brother received.
The front of the bus was already full and Davey looked how far he would have to navigate down the isle. The cool, older boys and girls at the rear of the bus called "Davey, come and sit with us!" That sixth grade boy was so caring, so helpful, and Davey felt welcomed by the whole school bus crowd.
Millie managed to control her emotions and felt such gratitude. She later found out that it was Hunter's birthday, but he wasn't concerned with birthday gifts and well wishes, just Davey's well-being. Millie said, "Dad, I learned again who's son Davey really is; Heavenly Father has in place the right people to bless the life of OUR kindergarten son. I don't need to worry. He will be watched over."
My hero, Hunter, is next to Kate in navy blue.