the 9 and 9L are different

This Friday, our school experienced its first real excursion hiccup. We spent the afternoon in the library reading, picking books, and doing a bit of scary story research for our upcoming Halloween party.

After two hours wandering the halls of the Teen and Children sections at the library, it was time to head home. Our timing, it seemed, was perfect: a roughly 20 minute journey home starting at 3:05pm. We’d even have time for a quick end of day circle.

Clipper cards ready, we all hopped on the bus. Confident we where looking for our standard 18th street stop, we embraced the usual shenanigans of the bus ride – story telling, day sharing, brotherly rough housing, and backpack ruffling. A bell ding alerted us that we were coming up on the 17th street stop and the warning to students went out: “The next stop, at 18th street, is ours.”

With bags closed and students ready, we flew by the 18th Street stop. 19th Street went whizzing by. 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd follow suit. Turns out that the 9 and the 9L are very different buses.

We got off the bus and shared with the kids the fantastic nature of our bus stop failure. Taking the opportunity to model calm and reasonable problem-solving, Mackenzie and I plotted a new path home and called Justine so she could keep parents in the loop. We were to walk over to Bryant and take the trusty 27. Looking back, I now realize we missed an opportunity to ask our kids to participate in generating a solution.

The 27 seemed like it was going to take far too long, so we opted to try and beat it by walking back to school. We split into two groups: the runners (hell-bent on beating the bus home) and the walkers (less-bent but still hoping to beat the bus home). Some parents met us along the way to keep after-school appointments but most others waited as we and the kids added an additional 20 minutes to our journey home. Our day came to an end with varying levels of sweatiness and similar levels of accomplishment and adventure.