Some people have a more difficult time with the first day of school than others. I remember when I started preschool and kindergarten, I was terrified to be dropped off with complete strangers. However, I tried my best to keep my fears to myself. Then as I got to my middle school and high school years, I would vomit every day as the first day of school would inch closer. I would overthink everything. Would if I had a mean teacher? Would if my classes were too difficult? Would if I didn’t know anybody in any of my classes? The “would ifs” would go on forever.
Little Axel is one student who could probably understand how I feel about the first day of school. But it wasn’t just his first day of school that he was worried about; it was his first, first day of school. Although he was all smiles when he was waiting for the school bus to pick him up, once the bus had arrived, he immediately became anxious.
“He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner. And then I started to slow down. And that’s when you could see his face kind of start to change,” said Bus Driver Isabel Lane.
Although Isabel gave the little boy a welcoming smile, he froze in place instead of walking up the bus’s steps. So, his mother, Amy Johnson, picked him up and placed him on an available seat directly behind the driver.
But as his mother began to walk away, Axel clung onto her. That’s when Isabel decided to step in to comfort the worried boy by holding his hand as his mother walked off the bus.
A photo of the incident was taken by Amy and posted online, which then got reposted by the local police department. It eventually gained traction on the Web, and next thing you know, Bus Driver Isabel was at a loss for words when she started receiving praise from strangers online.
“I didn’t think it was like that big of a deal personally. I guess this is something that I would do,” she said humbly.
Little kids remember kind gestures like these. In fact, the next morning when Isabel stopped to pick Axel up, he had a completely different tune. He flashed a big grin and even said hi to his bus driver.
As the weeks went on, Axel got more and more comfortable, and it’s all thanks to Isabel who gave him a comforting hand while also giving him the desensitization and tough love he needed to conquer his fear of school and being away from his mother.
Listen to an interview with the bus driver below. She’s excellent with children; I think she chose the right job!