Driving My Liftie
As I passed the old Linkhorn Park Elementary School on Laskin Road yesterday, I noticed a plea on the homely sign in front.
Bus Drivers Needed
Seems there are never enough school bus drivers around here. Perhaps the schools should pay more. Or don't they teach the law of supply and demand anymore?
Under normal circumstances, I’d ignore such a help wanted ad. But hey, I’m unemployed. Besides, I’m already working as a part-time driver.
For my son. The one with the bad wing. He can’t drive for at least another three weeks.
It was just a fleeting thought, of course. I’m not cut out to drive a bus full of caterwauling cherubs to and from school every day. I’d wind up in handcuffs like that Virginia school bus driver did about 20 years ago. The one who was so angry at his pint-sized passengers that he slammed on the brakes, brought the bus to a standstill and bellowed something like this at the kids:
If y'all don’t sit down and shut up you’re never going to see your parents again.
I can’t remember if he was prosecuted. I’m pretty sure he lost his job. Truth is, I empathized with the guy.
Back to my son. You’d think that after major shoulder surgery you would be ordered to remain blissfully sedentary for a while. Nothing but Netflix, popcorn and Percocet. At least until the stitches come out.
You would be wrong.
My son had his shoulder reassembled on Thursday, was home that night and on Monday afternoon I drove him past the "Bus Drivers Needed" sign to his first physical therapy appointment.
In the stack of hospital discharge instructions was a list of recommended PTs. Several dozen of them. We picked the one that's popular among younger patients wanting to quickly return to sports.
I drove gingerly, taking corners like a geriatric and never going a mile over the speed limit. I was terrified that if I tapped the brakes, my passenger would pass out from pain.
We pulled up at the address and looked at each other. The place was, well, modest. Smaller than the spacious PT center I went to after tearing my rotator cuff in yoga class a couple of years ago. Smaller than the one my kid went to in high school after dislocating his other shoulder in his first skiing accident.
“They don’t have a lot of equipment,” he observed as we walked in.
“How much do you need for a shoulder?” I shrugged.
“Can I switch places if I don’t like this one?” he whispered.
“I'm sure you can,” I whispered back.
Just then the physical therapist appeared. Lanky, athletic and young. And female. And pretty.
Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought I saw my son perk up.
After a short session, he ambled over to where I waited. Grinning. With a list of future appointments in his non-slinged hand.
"How was it?” I asked as soon as we got outside.
“We’re good,” he said.
"Want to find a different place?"
He stared at me in disbelief.
I believe we’re good.