Mid-August we received our boys’ school bus pick up and drop off times. From day one Kolya’s high school bus has been almost to the minute on time in the morning and the afternoon.

Austin’s junior high bus experience has been less predictable. Pick up times are pretty accurate, but his drop off time has run 30 minutes later than the printed schedule. He’s supposed to be home at 3:52 and was routinely walking in the door at 4:20. I gave it a week at the beginning of the year and then made a phone call. They assured us that it would get better with time.

It’s now the fourth week of school and there had been no improvement. I decided a phone call was in order again. I explained that I had no problem with the schedule being off 5 or 10 minutes but I felt 30 minutes was not acceptable. This put Austin on the school bus for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the afternoon.

The woman on the other end of the phone took at look at his schedule and agreed that a 30 minute delay was not okay. She said the driver was new and she’d have a discussion with her to see what the problem was. She also asked me to call her the minute Austin got off the school bus the next day.

So today he walked in the door at 4:02pm! I couldn’t believe it! I called the transportation office and talked with the same woman I’d spoken to yesterday. She said that sometimes you just have to light a fire under some people and that’s all that she had done. Austin said it didn’t seem like she’d driven too fast, but just seemed a little more intentional about her job.

As a parent, sometimes it’s hard to find the balance in advocating too much or too little for our child.

But the truth is, sometimes a little bit of accountability can make a big difference.

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