I expected the phone call from the bus driver but I never expected I'd hang up a blubbering mess. Rhonda. She has no idea that she's an angel to me. She called to offer the obligatory information - contact number, pick-up and drop-off times, special instructions. But only a couple of minutes in, I was one heave away from sobbing.
I hung up the phone forgetting most of the details she offered, but I will never forget her words:
"I tell my kids that we're a family. We're together everyday, and we function as a family. My own kid rides my bus. All the sub drivers tell me that I have the best bus. And I do. I have the best bus. And it's not me. They come to me this way. The girls that lived in the house you are in now - I'm really going to miss them. They've been a part of my route since they started school. Yeah, I'm going to miss them, but now I have Henry."
I tried to respond but all I could muster was a crackled thank you followed by crazy-mom sniffles.
What grace is this? God moves my family out to the country - a place I would never have chosen for myself - and I can hardly recover from the wave of grace before He knocks me over with another one.
My first touch point with our new school district was when we went to the Board of Education office for registration. As I was completing the paperwork, I was startled by a crash. I turned around and discovered candy and shattered glass blanketing the carpet. Greta had managed to unscrew the top of a large vintage-style candy machine, causing its glass container and all its contents to confetti the floor.
The next moments were a blur. I shuffled us out of the office. I have no idea what I said to the sweet lady Marilyn who was helping us. She kindly offered concern, ensuring that no one was injured by the broken glass. It wasn't until hours later that my mortification lifted and I had enough sense to email her and ask her to allow me to replace the candy machine.
Her reply brought me to tears:
I am just so happy that no one was injured with the falling of the candy machine. That was my biggest concern. Please, do not think anything more about replacing it. I actually am fine with it being out of my office as I always felt like that area is very small. I now appreciate the added space.
What grace is this? SHE THANKED ME FOR BREAKING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OFFICE CANDY MACHINE.
From Marilyn to Rhonda, God has been showering us with grace upon grace upon grace as we settle into this new community.
I don't even know how to process it all. I really don't. Though this district might score a few points behind some of the surrounding districts on those most reliable and valid school report cards, there is no doubt that there is one thing this district will generously offer my kids: Love.
And so this week when we attended Henry's back to school night, I walked right up to the PTO table and wasted no time purchasing a school pride car magnet. I carefully and proudly placed the magnet on the back of my otherwise tidy van. I am so grateful for the spirited reminder of God's most lovely grace.