Amy could hardly wait to start kindergarten. She had watched her older sister get on the school bus the year before, and now it was finally her turn. As the bus came to a screeching halt, Mom, who was standing next to her, gave her a kiss goodbye. "Have a great day, honey," she said, and added, "Grandma will be waiting for you when you get home." Grandma lived with Amy's family.
Amy hesitated before getting on, so Mom gave her a boost up and watched as her daughter went to find a seat. Once Amy was settled, Mom waved goodbye.
After the first week of school, Mom noticed a change in her daughter. She was balking when it came time to get on the bus and almost refused to get on.
"Is something bothering you about the bus?" Mom asked.
"The kids poke me when I walk down the aisle, and they say mean things."
"Maybe you could sit in the front of the bus," Mom suggested.
"I can't. Those seats are filled by the time I get on. The only empty seats are in the back."
"Doesn't the bus driver say anything to the kids about how they're acting?"
"No. He's always in a hurry, and he doesn't care what the kids do." Looking up at her mother's face, she begged, "Couldn't you or Grandma drive me to school?"
"Grandma has to stay here with your sister until her school bus comes, and I can't take you because I have to catch a train and the train won't wait if I'm late."
That night after everyone had gone to bed, Mom pulled out two books from her bedstand. One was the Bible, and the other was "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. She often turned to them for inspiration when she needed to solve a difficult problem.
Opening the Bible first to Genesis 1:31, she read: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good." She reasoned: "If God made everything good, then all His children have to be good."
Looking in Science and Health Mom found: "The divine Principle, or Spirit, comprehends and expresses all, and all must therefore be as perfect as the divine Principle is perfect" (p. 518). The book often refers to God as Principle and the author also wrote that the Principle is Love.
Amy's mother liked to think of Principle as law. There were all kinds of law in the Bible such as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, but she was thinking specifically of the "law of kindness."
She realized that the whole bus had to be filled with love because God is Love and He fills every nook and cranny with love, so there's nothing but love going on. There's no room for meanness. She thought about this until she felt at peace.
The next morning, Amy still didn't want to ride the bus, but Mom told her: "Remember that God is on the bus with you, and where God is, love is."
When the bus doors flew open, Amy couldn't believe it. Her friend Thea's father was driving!
Mom couldn't believe it either. She said, "Ted, is that you? How come you're driving the bus?"
Ted smiled and said, "Hi, squirt," to Amy, grinning. Then he replied, "Yup! I'm the new driver. I'll have to tell you about it later."
That night Amy couldn't wait to get home. When she saw her mother, she said, "You know how Thea's daddy was driving the school bus today? Well, he wouldn't let anyone be mean.
"Before we got off the bus at school, he talked to all of us. He said that from now on everyone had to say 'Good morning' to him and he'd say 'Good morning' to them. Then he said we have to treat each other with respect, and that means no poking or saying mean things."
Mom said to Amy, "I think we owe God an awful big thank-you, don't you?" Amy agreed.