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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Big Line of SUVs

If I don't get out of my house early enough in the morning, I get stuck behind this one school bus that goes along all of the back roads on my way to work.  It stops at, oh, pretty much every single house along the road.  I never knew how many houses along there had elementary school aged children!

What annoys me about this scenario isn't that my commute is longer, and I don't begrudge the bus at all.  In fact, I've made friends with the kid who usually sits in the back seat.  What annoys me is that many of the parents drive their kids to the bus stop every day.

I'm not talking about a bus stop that is several miles away.  The bus picks the kids up at the end of their driveway!  Or, at most, maybe a block away from their house.  Yet, the parents pile the kids into their SUV or minivan and sit at the end of the driveway, with the motor running, until the bus comes.  If I pass a community instead of a single house, there is a line of SUVs with the motors running, waiting for the bus.  Isn't this wasteful?  Isn't this just sheer laziness??  The kid can't walk to the end of the driveway?  YOU, the parent, can't walk to the end of the driveway?  We're talking maybe 100 or 200 yards here.

This happens even in my own community.  I regularly run this community, so I know distances, and I am fully aware that the street that produces the most children at the bus stop where I life is about a half mile long.  That means, at most, the kid and parent would be walking a quarter mile to get to the bus stop.  A quarter mile!  One loop around the track.  Come on, folks.

I understand that it is cold outside, but parents are doing this regardless of the temperature.  Even so, if it's 50 degrees or below the kids are dressed like they live on Hoth anyway, so I'd figure the inside of the car is pretty hot for them.  Trust me, the outdoors is nice, you will like it.  Why don't you try walking to the bus stop with your kids, getting some fresh air and exercise, and stop teaching your kids to be lazy.  We have a real problem in this country with obesity and our lifestyle is far too sedentary. 

I mean, am I crazy?  Am I the weird one?  If I had somewhere to go that is only a few blocks away, I'd walk.  It makes sense to me.  Live simply.  Walk.


Jenny said...

I don't think you're crazy. Maybe I'll have a different opinion in a few years when my kids are old enough for school, but right now I also don't understand the phenomenon of driving the kids to the bus stop. Maybe if it was raining hard or really cold. But I remember waiting outside in pouring rain and freezing cold. And if you're going to bother piling in the car and waiting, why not go ahead and take the kid to school? But like I said, maybe I'll have discovered a reason by the time my kids go to school....

raulgonemobile said...

I'm with ya there. Another "favorite" I see is people circling the two closest aisles when parking. Never mind parking far away and walking in.

Mary said...

You're right, Kim. This is pretty silly. Like Jenny, I could see if there were extreme weather conditions, but I think it's silly for this to be an everyday occurrence. Of course, I see way more parents who are appalled by the idea of their children even riding the bus, so I guess it isn't surprising. But honestly, there were kids in my school who did have mile long farm driveways and, except for the very youngest kids, they walked to and from the end of the driveway on their own.

Kim said...

Yeah, I didn't want to get into the whole "when I was a kid..." thing, but in elementary school, I had a pretty long driveway (hmmm... close to a quarter mile, I'd say) and then I had to walk to the end of my street, maybe a total of a half mile, and I walked there alone (starting when we moved to Annapolis in the 3rd grade). 6th-8th grade, I walked all the way to the end of my community, which was a frickin LONG WAY... No idea how far, at least a mile or more. I went alone and it was not a big deal at all. But, I also came home to an empty house, which also seems to be unheard of in this day and age.

I can't speak for middle schoolers in my community, as they are usually gone by the time I leave for work.

Kim said...

Ok, you know what? I will take some phone photographs of the bus picking up next time I'm behind it, and you guys can really see how close the houses are to the bus.

There are other kids who wait for the bus inside the house and then come running out when the bus comes. While this isn't particularly good for my commute time, it doesn't bother me NEARLY as much as the SUVs waiting for the bus.

Nick said...



(I'm slapping the table with my hand as I'm saying this.)

I think lots of parents are just too damn clingy. They want to be there for everything. People, step back, let your kid make fart jokes at the bus stop without any cramping of their style.

Kim said...

Well, I want to make it very clear that I have no issues with parents being with their kids at the bus stop. I can't say it's what I would have wanted as a kid, but times change and I understand the need to accompany a child to the bus stop. It's the laziness/cars thing I don't get.

V- said...

Girl, you'd love it in Bethesda. Come visit sometime...I walk everywhere! I happily keep the car parked 5-6 days out of the week. :) V-

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