Peter’s outburst was all because of the bus route. We live a quarter mile from school, though the bus turns away from the direction of our house to follow a circular route, allowing children to exit without having to cross in front of it. That makes us the last stop in the morning, which gives us extra time when we need it, but we’re the last stop in the afternoon. That delay wipes out any lingering elation from a school day that went Peter’s way.
My daughter told me he’d threatened to blow up the bus and kill the bus driver. (Please don’t let there be a call from the school, I plead in my head amid all the confusion. Because I can’t handle it.) Explaining the bus driver's immunity in planning the bus routes is futile because to Peter, he’s the enemy. He lashed out by flinging his lime green backpack with navy piping at the metal fruit stand, with overripe tomatoes and speckled bananas. He missed his target and then stormed towards my daughter, cornering her and squeezing her nipples in direct violation of her body. She reacts, and rightfully so, but fuels his rage by calling him stupid and telling him he can’t read. So as I attempt to listen to the dueling cries and enforce punishments, Peter sobs and tells me, "You hate me! Nobody likes me!" In the whirlwind of his emotions, the conversation then switches to his friends of which he tells me has none. That pangs my heart. And suddenly I don’t know how to resolve anything.
I hurry to pick up Peter’s backpack, with mini hand sanitizers dangling off the sides that my daughters think is an accessory for girls only, before our senile dog spritzes it with urine. I unzip the pocket to retrieve the daily folder, hoping that there's no homework to complete which would only ensure the continuation of my struggle. Thankfully it’s empty.
And just minutes ago, before finalizing my post, I received a call from the interim assistant principal. I thought Peter had bypassed any repercussions from the day before. I’m told that Peter’s language is scaring the other children and he’ll have to be picked up from school tomorrow until we decide what to do. Sigh. Here we go again.
Thank you, THANK YOU, for all of your supportive comments! Gotta go catch the bus.