Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Boy and the Bus

(Note on the photo: This is one of Muni's new hybrid buses. Love the sunflowers!)
This weekend, my younger son was at a soccer end-of-season pizza party at a friend's house. I couldn't pick him up because my husband and I were couch shopping. So I told him he could walk home. It's about a mile from our house, on a route he's used to because it's how we drive between our home and his school. He had his phone, so I felt he would be okay.
When we got home, we asked him how the walk home was.
"Actually, I took the bus," he said.
"Did you have money?" I asked, surprised.
"Yes. I made sure I had bus fare because I thought I might end up taking the bus," he said.
Not only that, he called his older brother to see if he was home, and older brother told him to call 311, a transit information line, to find out when the next bus was coming. He did that while he walked to the bus stop, found out there was one coming in 3 minutes, and hopped on when it came.
"Wow, I'm impressed," I told him.
"Why?" he said nonchalantly, but I could tell he was pleased.
"Just how you planned ahead and figured out where the bus stop was and found out when it was coming, and everything," I said.
"It's not that big a deal, Mom."
Actually, it is. I know some people a lot older than him who couldn't manage that. And he's only 12.
Also this week, my car wouldn't start when I went to pick him up at school. Luckily our carpool buddy's mom could pick up the boys and dropped him off at his music lesson, up the hill from us. The plan was, he would leave his saxophone at his teacher's house and walk home. Again, he decided to take the bus. Only this time 311 told him the next bus wasn't for 25 minutes, so he decided to walk home. Just as he was walking past the bus stop, a bus pulled up, so he got on. But it turned out it was going the opposite direction, so he had to get off again and walk anyway. He laughed about his adventure, when he made it home rosy-cheeked from the walk.
I remember when he was in sixth grade, he was afraid to take the bus by himself. Now it's an excursion of independence for him to take the bus alone. I just hope he doesn't have any bad adventures that spoil his new enjoyment of soloing on public transportation.

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