City living certainly has its advantages — a bevy of nice restaurants, concerts, theater, diversity, museums, and culture. But today I witnessed one of my biggest fears come true. As I sat on my bus into work, two teachers boarded with 30 sixth grade students in tow. One of the teachers and I chatted about their excursion — a trip to the film festival! What 12-year-old wouldn't die to skip a day of classes for an animated movie? All excited and ready for their adventure, the entire class exited at the last nonexpress stop, which means the bus was headed downtown without any more stops for at least another two miles or fifteen minutes. As we pulled away, I watched the teacher lining the students up hoping to count off quickly. After a few minutes of zoning out on my Blackberry, I looked up and noticed a young girl with her nose buried in her book. I quickly asked her, "Weren't you supposed to get off at that last stop? She looked around and then with a frightened face mumbled, "I think so." My heart dropped. To see what happened,
I yelled to the bus driver and requested he make an atypical stop. Everyone else around us immediately clued in on the mishap. One woman said, "I'll take her back. I've got her." I told her which theater they were headed to and off they went. Thanks to a kind woman and an understanding bus driver, this child was not left behind. Or at least not for long.
In the meantime, I keep thinking to myself, "What if that happened to my kid?!" Certainly worse things can happen, but now it's just another fear planted in my heart. Part of living in a metropolis is dealing with crowds, public transportation, and busy streets. However, it gives me comfort to know that in a big city, there are small villages that pitch in to help raise and care for the children.