Like a vigilante, today I stopped the orange-yellow cheese, size of an elephant mobile-the school bus. Sunny took just a little too long getting ready this morning. In her zombie stupor each morning she insists she must be the one to pick out her outfit (why, oh why don't I insist the night before she make her choice, I am a masochist, that's why.) I tried giving her a variety of options, knowing full well she would not approve of any of them. Sensible long sleeve shirts, cute prints on all of them. Her stylish pants she's not into either, she prefers the Mahona sweat pants and comfy capris. Some one's got to teach this girl fashion is not about comfort. Ever heard of stiletto's? I saw the bus through the blinds called to Sunny and told her I had her backpack and encouraged her to high tail it out of there and forget the rest of teeth brushing. The bus driver paused and was about to give up since Sunny was not surfacing. I ran back to the door and fed her to the mouth of elephant cheese slice. Luckily for me I don't think this incident was anymore than a moment for her but I had flashbacks of what a bus means to me.
"Run, Forest, run!" "Run home to your mommy!" Familiar calls directed at me as I leaped off the bus running as hard and fast as Florence Joyner Kersee (remember those nails...see Sunny, fashion has its merits...fashion saves!) down the pebbly, dust-ridden hill-I wouldn't stop until I turned the corner, I triumphed every time. I high tailed it as quick as possible primarily to distance myself from those tobacco chewing, shorts-wearing in twenty below Alaskan winter weather teenage boys whom I had developed a healthy measure of contempt for. Then, there was each cold, dark morning walking to the bus stop, alone. Being the oldest by six years in my family I grew accustomed to solo so it was fine but waiting the 12-20 minutes at the bus stop was not on my top ten list of favored past times. Being a blindly obedient child my parents, sensibly told me to bundle up in such weather. And I certainly had proof the insulation made a difference: my winter attire reminds me of the brother and sister bears in Richard Scarry's "What People Do All Day"-each has every article of clothing imaginable including petticoat, rubbers, legwarmers, over coat, dust coat etc. My junior high get up warmly included light blue snow pants (suspender, zipper-type style), a neat invention of a polar fleece neck warmer, mittens (keeps your fingers warmer as the fingers each other to produce warmth-some kindergarten science for all), a warm, double lined Colombia jacket and a warm hat. The only problem, which isn't necessarily a problem, although if I find cause to hash it out 10+ years down the road... These pesky teenagers, all older than me would mock me to no end with my snow pants and my mommy and obviously how much better they were than me. Do not worry, oh, I showed them who was who-by day by day standing on the opposite side of the road from them. Social suicide complete. Another chapter on the yellow submarine: Clinton, my cub scout younger brother I was so proud of is going on his first Cub Scout Day Camp trip. And thanks to me, his last. He conceded to let me go with him kind of as a junior chaperone. I was excited to spend some fun, outdoor time with him. Archery, leather work, scavenger hunts, pond exploration, swimming (something we both enjoyed) all on the agenda. The change of the weather had brought on a cold for me so on the bus, in route to the lake campsite I retrieved a pre-used gnarled tissue from my jeans pocket. Gingerly unwrapping it like a lace doillie made by Aunt Louise I held my receptacle up to my nose and blow long and hard, three times I believe is what it took to empty the phlegmish substance from my nostrils. Glancing at Clinton I realized something. That a 15 year old sister focused on determining the most effective way to dislodge mucus from a most stubborn nostril is a hair away from the epitome of cool for your average nine year old who works hard on his image (he even trained his hair part to spread in the middle for a slick surfer look, all it took was two pinkies and plenty of repetition) Tragically, although I realized my thoughtlessness, I got so caught in the moment of how hilarious this was that my laughter bubbled over like bubble and squeak on some English dude's stovetop. I did not improve the situation. For the record, Clinton did not pursue scouting, leatherwork and lives in a box today. But hey, a man is his own agent, right? Can't sit around and blame your problems on everyone else. Still, maybe I better cool it with the bus hold ups if I want Sunny Carolina to have any chance at going to college.