Tomorrow is my son’s last day of 5th grade. It will be his last day at his current school, as next year he enters Middle School. Don’t worry, I won’t be using this post for lamenting about how my baby is getting too old to quickly. I’m sure I’ll cover that ground in other future posts.
Instead I’d like to turn our attention to important Real People in our lives who we don’t know very well. This morning as my son got on the bus, I realized it is probably the last time he’ll ride with this particular bus driver. This driver has for 3 years now safely delivered my son to school each day…through the proverbial wind and rain, sleet and snow… and even around downed trees from a tornado this year. And I started thinking about the other people who we may never even speak to, or know their names, and yet they play pretty important roles in daily our lives. Is there a crossing guard who gets your child across the street safely each day? How about your mail carrier, do you know his or her name? Our mail carrier is Linda, she’s wonderful and leaves a biscuit for our dog every day in the box. And then there’s the team that collects our trash and recyclables each week… I have no idea who they are or even what they look like. If you think about your daily, weekly, or monthly routines, how many others are out there who make our lives easier or more pleasant? Is there an ever-patient receptionist at the Vet who knows your pet by name? How about the server at the local coffee shop who remembers you like cream and two sugars? Or a security guard at your place of work who waves every morning as he raises the gate for you to pass through?
These are all folks who make our lives easier, or more importantly, keep our children safe. We probably don’t pay them directly for their services. We may or may not know their names. Our total conversations may only include a hello, a wave or a “have a nice day.” But how about just once in a while we slow down and say thank you to them? Wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise to them to be acknowledged?
On a whim tonight I stopped and bought a thank you card and a gift card to the local coffee shop so tomorrow morning my son can give it to Fran the bus driver. Inside the note I thanked him for safely driving my son, and his fellow students, every day for so many days, months, even years. And I wished him a happy summer. I hope it gives him a smile, and let’s him know that after approximately 480 days of me waving to him as he drove off to take my son to school, that I appreciate what he has done.