Advice From a Bus Driver

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It’s been a long week. One of those weeks that have put a few more gray hairs into my beard. I started my bus route this week. Most of the kids are well behaved, they get on the bus, they sit down, they don’t yell and terrorize each other. But one school… oh… wow…

Here’s what I would say to them if I could sit them all down in a room, with no traffic or schedules to distract us:

Dear middle-schoolers:

First off, I’m not here to be a guru or to be your parent or your coach. I’m just here to drive you home safely and efficiently.

I am not mad. I am concerned, really. I care about you, and not just your safety on the bus. I care about your character, I care about your potential, I care about your future. It’s not a cliche to say you are the future of this world. You literally are the future.

To the ring leader. The Boy Scout. The one who will probably have a referral by Wednesday of next week. I was there once. I know the dirty jokes, stupid dares, and pranks that happen in camps and meetings all across the country when you think the adults aren’t paying attention. You are young and naive and you will do every thing you can to test the boundaries around you. But you are also trying to impress your friends. Don’t think I haven’t noticed your sudden quietness and semi-respectfulness when certain peers get off the bus. Here is some advice: if you have to act like an asshat to impress your friends, they are not the kind of friends you should have.

To the ones of you calling me old and “that white guy”, I’m probably younger than a lot of your parents. This gray hair is a result of stress and anxiety of raising five kids your age and younger. I’m not old, I’m learn-ed. And why does it matter one lick what color I am? I don’t look at you and take note of your skin tone, I couldn’t care less. But I do look at you and notice your behavior. Young and ignorant behavior has no color bias. Stop making a big deal out of race and I guarantee you will go further in life.

Now about your respect of others, I can’t wash your mouths out with soap. I can’t change your language in the short time I have with you every day. To be honest, I don’t care if you are loud or use “adult” words (do you kiss your mother with that mouth?). I have five kids, I know noise. I’ve learned to tune out the nonsense and key in on emergencies. Or in your case the insults, the disrespect, the meanness. You’re at a competitive age. You compete for attention, good or bad. You believe that tearing down others is the best way to climb to the top. Again, I get it. I was your age once. I said some horrible things to others.

Want to climb to the top? Have some respect for others. And yourself. You disrespect yourself when you tear down others. Be better than those around you, and bring them up with you. Out-do each other in awesomeness, not cruelty. That way you all succeed, or at least none of you are destroyed before you have a chance to get up.

Most of all, dear children, I have this advice: sit down, seatbelts on, windows up.

Safety is first on this bus.

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Dailyish Thoughts #94

It’s officially the dark season. November through February are my least favorite months. Holidays and birthdays aside, there is nothing redeeming about these months. Darkness and cold…. Yay. It’s not all bad. Like I said, holidays and birthdays. And if we go to the right places, snow.

I miss being home with the kids. Working all the time and not getting to hang out with them is miserable. Especially in a house with rooms. If I had my way I’d have a house with four rooms: a bedroom for the parents, a bathroom, a big room, and a kitchen open to the big room. That way time spent at home is actually worth something.

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Dailyish Thoughts #83

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Coming to Florida soon

Back in Florida. All good things must come to an end, and our working vacation was no exception. Tomorrow I have an interview, and the next day, and the next day, and Monday. It’s going to be a looooong week. So many options. I kinda just want to keep freelancing, but in order to get a car to freelance, I need a “real” job.

Long drives allow for much thinking. So much thinking…. At some point I hope my life slows down enough to write it all down. I’ll sum up: Most of the Social Justice people are virtue signalling narcissists. Most of the social justice movement isn’t really concerned with helping people as it is concerned with it’s own image. Most of it also hinges on a collectivist worldview. Patriarchy and much of the “Christian” marriage and child raising advice out there makes your spouse and children into your enemy. Leftists are like locusts, they move out of the states they have decimated to states like Florida and then elect leftists who in turn decimate the new state, driving them to move to another state and begin the cycle anew.

There were other ones but it is late and I have an interview tomorrow. Go read the links and get an idea of my background before I write more and confuse you!

 

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Slow Going

The only problem with two vehicles and two drivers is you can’t switch off. When one is tired the other is held to their sleep schedule.

Which for us means not getting to a big town with a hotel. Thankfully we have gotten accustomed to sleeping at Pilots over the years. In a trailer…

Without a trailer I tossed and turned all night. In the Texas warmth. With one window cracked to keep the cats in. With three kids.

Oh the smell.

Well, it’s 0720 here in West Texas. Hopefully in about 15 hours we will be somewhere near Hammond, LA. I have a boudin po boy to buy!

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Daily Thoughts #66

I feel poor sometimes, and perhaps by definition I am. But then I actually spend time with someone who has been poor for awhile and I realize not just what I have, but how ungenerous I am. You want to meet a generous person? Go find someone who is barely getting by.

Apple harvests can be a painful endeavor. I’m grateful for ibuprofen and Arnicare.

As crazy as they can be, I personally think I have some good kids. It makes me feel ashamed sometimes how non-judgmental they are when I am positive my face can’t hide anything. It doesn’t even matter if I am not thinking judgey thoughts, I can feel my face responding to my surroundings. Them? Anywhere they go they are at home, not a word or a look to make one think they are out of their element.

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Daily Thoughts #62

Stir crazy kids lead to crazy me. The irony of yelling at the kids to stop yelling is not lost on me. So I stopped. It wasn’t working anyway. They eventually figured it out.

What’s the point of creating? It’s all going to end up on a burning heap one day anyway. I might have to explore this line of thought more…

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Fatherhood Is Not Babysitting

This was in a Facebook group I’m in. Most people got the joke. One guy commented:

“What exactly is this meme saying?

Why is the woman abandoning her God given role as mother “for the next few days”?

Why is the father being regarded by both women almost as a boyfriend?”

My response was “you gotta be trolling.”

But looking at his timeline I really don’t think he was. His posts show that his worldview assumes men and women were created exclusively for distinct “roles”, women to pump out babies and stay with them constantly until they are capable of pumping out their own, and men to go out of the house most of the time to till the fields and provide the means to buy food (which definitely falls into the woman’s role). These roles are rigid and unbending.

I’m not completely opposed to the idea of roles. In any organization, such as a family, division of labor is helpful to ensure that all jobs are taken care of.

But implicit in this guy’s worldview is the idea that men are incapable of raising children. The fact that a woman would “abandon her God given role” and leave her children in the incompetent hands of their father is appalling. We all know men don’t have the capacity to nurture. We know their attention spans are way too limited to ensure the kids get all that they need to survive.

Implicit in this worldview is the concept that fathers are nothing more than babysitters when they take responsibility for the care of their children. If this guy had his way, the mother would never be out of the child’s presence. The father would will never be left out of his league watching the kids for a few days, let alone a few hours.

Maybe I am being uncharitable. Maybe this guy is a great father. Maybe he lets his wife “abandon her role” and go out occasionally. I don’t know.

All I know is I take exception to the idea that men are useless for raising children. I reject the notion that fathers are babysitters and the jokes about them needing “rescue” and being incompetent.

This guy may not have understood the meme, but I think most of us got the point loud and clear.

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Daily Thoughts #46

Have to love driving to town with some purpose in mind and only getting it half done. Thanks customer support for not being there.

Good sleep is necessary for good health. I kicked two out of four of the kids out of the bed and man did it make a huge impact!

Taco Saturday has thrown off taco Tuesday. What am I going to do for dinner tomorrow?

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Daily Thoughts #43

It’s paycheck Friday! Which means… bills… Oh well, it was nice to see those numbers for a few hours anyways.

Well, bills and carnitas fries… My kryponite.

There is nothing wrong with dancing to tunes from your childhood in front of your 12 year old, no matter how awkward it makes her feel.

Speaking of childhood, I realized today that I missed mine. I didn’t learn how to play foursquare until I was 30!

I must be doing something right, she’s singing along with those songs…

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Daily Thoughts #37

Took the kids to a gun safety event. They loved it. I know it’s odd for some people in the rest of the world to see this kind of thing but I want my kids to appreciate weapons and treat them as tools and not toys or something scary. Especially considering the part of the world we live in.

Learned some bad news today about a friend back home. For a minute I wanted to diminish my worries in light of hers but I realized that my worries are legitimate too. We each have burdens and cares that God allows us to bear. He wants us to bring them to Him no matter how “insignificant” they may be.

And just like those burdens He also blesses us in ways that bring Him the most glory. While I may not understand why He has not blessed me with a comfortable level of wealth or nice cars or fancy toys, I am grateful that He has blessed me with health, an amazing wife, and beautiful children. Gratitude is a great feeling that lifts up even the most anxious of hearts.