My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

Santa Cruz Buses are Good for the Environment Too!
Image borrowed from: http://forum.bustalk.info

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me to take her on the bus for a solid 2 years now. Apparently there is something that seems glamorous about going for a ride on a huge blue box. You can see the bus stop from our living room window, so there is no hiding the bus swinging on by every hour, on the hour.

I had been avoiding taking her on the bus for 2 years now. However she gently reminded me of my promise I had made 2 years ago. I realized I had no more excuses. It was time to conqure my fear, and get my ass on that bus.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is her problem? Why would she be nervous about taking the bus?”. Well let me shed some light on the ways of my manic brain. The last time I took the bus was 20 years ago when I was 14 or 15 years old. Back then (the 90’s if you may), the only people that rode the bus were junkies, homeless, mentally disabled, and teenagers. Do you know how scary teenagers are? Fucking scary!!!! Ok, but really. The bus smelled like piss back then and had a strange dirty, sticky, vibe to it. Even as a kid, I only rode the bus maybe 1-2 times in my life. Anywhere I needed to go, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride. And when I was 16, and got my license, you better believe I felt too cool to ride the bus.

But here I am now, 34, and about to take my precious babies on what I thought would be cesspool of germs and goober. But my baby gets what my baby wants. (enter sarcastic tone). One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Africa let alone across town. I did some research online and found our route. I also found the bus fare amount and made sure I had exact change. $2!!! What a deal!! Of course in my mind I kept thinking, “What if I don’t have enough? What if the coin gets stuck on in the machine and everyone yells at me? What if, what if?”

So we had our money, we had the time we needed meet the bus, and we had our route. We were all ready to go. So here we are at the bus stop. I had a 6 year old, a 21 month old in a sling attached to me, an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and a bag for our library books. Here we come!!! We got on the bus with flying colors. Phew! No one even yelled at me one. Go figure!

I was pleasantly surprised once we got settled in a seat and was on our way. The buses must have been remodeled somewhere in the past 20 years (Who would have thought?). The seats and floor was clean. There was no unpleasant smell. I felt comfortable and safe. There were no crazy people. Don’t get me wrong… There were people of all walks of life, shapes and sizes, etc. But mostly college students, some elderly, and lower income people. But was nice to experience a different side of life that I don’t think about on a day to day basis. And it was nice to just sit back and not have to worry about other drivers, traffic, etc. Granted it took twice as long to get to where we were going, vs driving myself. But we weren’t in a hurry and just had fun riding the bus.

Sometimes it takes our children to help push us beyond our bubble and comfort level. I certainly did not want my daughter to share in my own fears without having her experience life for herself. Most of my daily fears are not based on reality, but my own perceptions and judgements. Which isn’t healthy, but my own shit that I deal.

But that is saved for a new post. For now, all I can say is, YAH for public transportation!!!!