Friday, February 26, 2010

School Bus Stop

Each morning, when I leave to drive the boys to preschool, the middle school kids are emerging from their houses to head to the bus stop.

Oftentimes I am late (three kids will slow you down) and the kids are already waiting at the bus stop.

I've taken to observing the species that is "Middle School Student at a Bus Stop."

The most curious thing to note--they don't communicate with one another.

One boy is always reading a fat book. He sits criss-cross-applesauce with his fat book in his lap, reading. I like him. I like people who read.

Another boy wearing socks up to his knees, carries his book bag in one hand and his lunch in the other. And he paces. Back and forth. Back and forth. It makes me sad to see him because I know he's picked on.

A girl at the pacing boy's bus stop--she simply stares at the pacing boy. She's as far away as she can be from him while still being at the actual bus stop, she wears a backpack, and always has her arms across her chest. And she stares at the pacing boy.

Another girl texts. I do not kid when I say she's been texting every.single.time that I can remember seeing her. She doesn't talk to those real live people who surround her, but she texts goodness only knows who, furiously, as if it were important state matters she was dealing with and not American Idol and who's dating who this week.

This his how the scene plays out, morning after morning. Come to my neighborhood at 8:35 on and given day and I guarantee what you see won't be far off. And so I'm sad. Because here in this microcosm of neighborhood children, I worry. Because short of the one girl texting (and really, can I really count that as a consolation?) these children do no communicate with each other. Face to face communication has been abandoned for Facebook, and talking is now replaced by texting.

I can't see how this can be a good thing.

No comments: