MAILBAG: There Are People Behind You!

Dear Editor,

A problem that has become increasingly frustrating for me in recent weeks and months is the fact that certain parents seem to think the entire world stops for their child. While I have no doubt that your child needs your constant love, attention, and total devotion, there are times when you go too far, and it hurts other people.

I’m talking specifically about parents who, every time their child is dropped off by a bus after school, they carry on in a full blown conversation with the driver.

I happen to see this quite often. In the particular area where I live, there’s a parent that does this seemingly every day at the exact time that I’m rushing to get errands done. What should be a 10-second stop to allow a child to get off a bus invariably turns into a 2-3 minute wait as the parents goes into the bus to query the driver about who knows what.

Does this parent not realize that there’s an entire line of cars waiting for them? Do they not understand that people exist outside of their little bubble and that they just might be very busy?

And it’s not just the people who are waiting in their own vehicles to wait for you to stop blabbering. I’d imagine that the bus driver him/herself is a kindhearted individual who doesn’t want to be rude to the parent. But do you think they want to be spending unnecessary time driving a bus around Lakewood? Don’t you think they want to be done their route as soon as possible so they can go home?

I know you care about your kid, and that’s great. Just keep in mind that your efforts to get every detail and morsel about their daily commute isn’t actually necessary and hurts those around you. If you do really need a daily update, maybe get the bus driver’s cell number and bother them at night when the route is done. But don’t make me wait so you can blabber away.

Do better.

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    • So the driver should just give the parent a phone number to call/text/WhatsApp him about any issues. It’s not good manners to hold up a line of traffic. If I were a bus driver I would firmly but kindly tell the parent to exit the bus because I cannot hold up traffic and other kids are waiting to go home as well

  1. Dear letter writer,
    I wonder if you are referring to me. I am a mother of a child with special needs. My son goes on the short bus. Often I am needed to walk him onto the bus for different reasons. And when they drop him off, sometimes he is sleeping and needs to be carried off the bus. Sometimes he takes off his glasses, yarmulka and socks and shoes and i need to crawl under the seats to find everything. Sometimes he threw his hearing aids and I need to help find the pieces. How dare you beep! How dare you pass the bus, because you are impatient and feel entitled! If this is the kind of letter you can write, please sit down for a few minutes and recognize that YOU are not the only person in this world! YOUR problems, of nebach having to wait 3 minutes behind a bus, are really quite small. Maybe you will remember to be grateful for your small problems the next time you get stuck behind a bus.
    Best of luck on working on your middos!

    • Why would you assume that the letter writer is talking about you? I assume that he is talking about a regular situation. Everyone understands that a special needs child is a special situation.

      • When a bus stops in front of you, how do you know who is on it and why the stop is taking so long? There is no flashing neon sign glaring “special needs on this bus”. Nor should there be, they are already often differentiated more than necessary. You cannot even say you recognize the bus because the same bus that does a special Ed run, later does a yeshiva run. So, when stopped behind a bus be understanding and courteous. If it takes longer than you think is necessary, be kind and grateful that you don’t have a child who needs the extra!!

  2. Oy!! Reading this letter and then the subsequent comments really hurts my heart. We have bigger problems to worry about in this galus. Sometimes we can forget why we are on this planet. Not everything is supposed to run smoothly in this world, and even something like this which seems to be within one’s ability to prevent by speaking out, maybe it’s best to look at it as an opportunity to grow, to be maavir al hamiddos. Yes, the obstacles can and usually do come from other yidden but let’s not forget the One above who is speaking to us and giving us the opportunity to grow (even if it happens every day and seems preventable by speaking out). Let’s daven for the mother of the special needs child in the above comment who has REAL challenges to make her great and reach her potential. At the end of the day let’s not forget: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM!

  3. Just saying…that you don’t always know what is a “regular” situation! There are many children in regular typical yeshiva who have issues that you would never know about. They look typical, have no official diagnosis etc… Or Maybe her kid is a big mouth and in order for him to stay on the bus she has to butter up the driver, or maybe her kid gets bullied…or maybe 300 other reasons….
    Shake yourself awake and smell the coffee…. i do not believe such letters should be given a forum to voice their selfish opinions. This is beneath us!


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