I was watching a story on the news tonight about a little girl dropped off the bus and left alone on a corner because there was no one there to meet her. That happened to my son at the age of 6.
I made arrangements for my son to get off the bus at the babysitter's house. One week into the school year, my babysitter went on a planned vacation. I made arrangements to start work a half-hour early and leave a half-hour early, so that I could be there at 3:30 to pick him up when the bus dropped him off. It worked fine for the first 3 days of the week.
On Thursday, I got to the stop and waited. 3:30 - no bus. 3:45 - no bus. 4:00 - still no bus. At this point I was frantic. Do I leave and go to the school? Is the bus late? Was he dropped off and someone grabbed him? I'm freaking out at this point.
A woman came up to my car, tapped on the window and asked if I was there to pick up a little boy. I said yes, and she told me he was in her living room, having milk and cookies. I almost flew to her door, and there was DS Dan! She said she didn't know what time the bus dropped him off, but she heard him crying and decided to take him in until someone came looking for him. I thank God she was a kind person and not some weirdo.
I was ecstatic and angry at the same time as I headed back to the school. I pounded on the door of the convent and when the sister came to the door I asked for the sister in charge of running the school. When she appeared, I asked how they could just put a child on the bus and send them home early! She had explained that something happened to the water at the school and they had to dismiss early. I went on to tell her that my son was left standing on the sidewalk with no one to pick him up. I'm afraid I ripped her a new one! The sister apologized.
By the beginning of the following week, the school had a plan in place to make sure all parents were called to notify them in case of unexpected early dismissal. At the same time, I delivered some flowers to the woman who kept my child safe.