Friday, September 23, 2016
How We Do It, Part LIX
I was all psyched to let ya'll know what happened today when I made my visit to my neighborhood police station, but then this happened, and since I still have a phone call to make to clarify some of the things I learned in a discussion with a peace officer, I'm going to tell ya'll about this instead of that.
It's nothing, really, but just as I was texting with my fellow special needs parent Heather about the soul-killing texts we get from our respective daughters' schools, about their various bodily functions, numbers of seizures, etc. (and god bless the teachers and aides, I'm not dissing them), Sophie's bus pulled up in front of my house. I was in my bedroom and heard the tell-tale squeal of the brakes, but Oliver yelled from the front of the house anyway, MOM! SOPHIE'S BUS IS HERE! I got up from my desk and made my way through my mansion and out the door to the end of the driveway where the bus had parked. It wasn't until I got to the end of the driveway, though, that the door opened, and a tiny little young man climbed down the steps and greeted me. He was, perhaps, twelve years old and dressed in a bus driver's uniform. He held a clipboard.
Hello, he said to me.
Hi there! I said and peered in to see Sophie.
I'm going to need to see some identification, he said.
I looked at him and then around and then behind me, where Oliver stood looking at me. Oliver rolled his eyes.
Excuse me, I said. I'm her mother!
Sophie's bus aide poked his head around and told the Boy Bus Driver that I was indeed her mother.
The Boy Bus Driver said, Oh, you look different and I need to be sure that you are her mother. I'll need an identification. Given that I've thought about gardening in the nude to scare away McMansion buyers and developers, I looked down to double-check my appearance, but I had remembered to wear pants, my white eyelet blouse wasn't as revealing as it could have been, because I'd worn both bra and camisole and with the possible exception of glasses and long hair with a streak of gray at the top, I look much the same as I've looked for the past several years. I'd even venture to say that I look better than I have in the last several years as I'm much happier, but that's basically unbloggable material.
Reader, this was definitely a first in the near-twenty years that Sophie's been riding the bus home from school. Granted, she often disembarks from the bus into the welcoming arms of one or two other caregivers or even her father, and bus drivers come and they go, and I can't always keep track of them. I turned to Oliver whose eyes by this time had rolled so far back into his head that I couldn't see them. Oliver is privy to much of the shenanigans and encounters with the LAUSD because I homeschooled him for a couple of years, and he's got a sense of humor as dry as southern California, which is pretty damn parched. He's also got a memory like a steel trap and swears he remembers me screaming at one of the officials from Sophie's middle school back in the early part of the decade when he wasn't even five years old. He said I was pretty scary, and I said, Who me? Bless your heart!
Oliver, go get my wallet, please, I said, and he ran back up the driveway and into our mansion. He came out a few seconds later and handed me my driver's license which I then gave to the Boy Bus Driver. He took a look at it, at me, down at his clipboard and then back at it and at me and back down. He nodded and then proceeded to let down the bus ramp. I caught myself from making some unorthodox crack about how I'd certainly want to meet the woman who'd kidnap Sophie because damn, she'd make the best wife for me, because -- well -- you know. Boy Bus Driver didn't look old enough for that kind of folderol, seemed far too earnest to appreciate the insane gallows humor that keeps me alive.
As the ramp slowly descended to ground level, he made himself look extremely busy and efficient pushing all the buttons and undoing all the straps while Oliver took Sophie's backpack from her aide and slung it over his shoulder. There's still something a tiny bit painful about watching the ramp descend to the sidewalk. Sophie looks disheveled in her wheelchair, and the fact that she can't communicate about her day, about the bus, about the Boy Bus Driver or really, anything, just hits me hard sometimes.
Oliver looked at me, then at Sophie and then at the Boy Bus Driver and said with a straight face, Hey, that's not Sophie. That's not my sister.
Then we took off, me pushing Sophie up the ramp to our mansion like she was a queen in a chariot, and Oliver holding her backpack stuffed with jewels.