It's 8:00 a.m. and parents and their elementary school students start to trickle to the bus stop at the corner at the end of my street. The kids are toting their lunch boxes and backpacks and the parents, large cups of steaming coffee.
It's the same scene morning after morning, but it's a scene I have come to love.
While the girls greet each other with smiles and chatter, the boys throw their backpacks to the wind to get in a quick game of chase before the bus arrives. Moms and dads dish the neighborhood gossip, chat about an issue at the school, or talk about weekend plans and play-dates.
Before anyone knows it, someone is yelling "Bus!," and the kids dutifully grab their things, give a quick kiss and line up for a seat on the bus. Parents wave good-bye to their children and say a, "Have a great day" to their neighbors. Everyone parts ways.
The whole scene maybe lasts ten minutes, but in this world of texting, cell phones and the Internet, the bus stop continues to stand as a small community hub where people look each other in the eye and talk to each other.
Most of all, it is a place where parents share a deep and abiding love for their children, taking their very first steps toward independence. The bus stop is the place where many parents, for the first time, let go of tiny hands and wave encouragingly as they board the big yellow bus and head off into their own bright futures. And, it is also the place where, at the end of the day, children come bounding off the bus, proudly waving art projects and report cards, back into the arms of their eagerly waiting parents. A place for joyful reunions.
The bus stop is a place that, once children are off to high school and college, will forever hold a lifetime of cherished memories.
Patch wants to know: What makes your bus stop special? What are your bus stop memories? Post your thoughts in the comments below.