The 1st day of school can be overwhelming for most children. The unfamiliar environment, new faces, and the absence of their parents could be a scary thought for any kid.
For one student in Wisconsin named Axel, it was no different. The poor boy’s nervousness on the 1st day of school became evident the moment he rode the school bus. He started 4k last week, a pre-kindergarten year for kids 4 years old and below in an elementary school setting. His mom, Amy Johnson, was excited for his first day and wanted to mark the special occasion by taking a photo of him on the school bus.
But instead of a wide smile, Axel had tears and a red face.
“He was super excited to go, but when the bus came around corner he was really quiet,” Amy told CNN. “The bus opened the door and I looked at him and he started crying.”
Amy was trying to seat Axel on the bus but the boy wouldn’t let go of her. That’s when the kind bus driver, Isabel Lane, helped comfort the distressed child by showing him an open seat right behind her.
“I told him, ‘Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun,'” Amy said.
Isabel said that the mom kept trying to get off the bus but Axel kept grabbing her.
“I stuck my hand behind the seat as maybe something else to grab onto and he grabbed my hand,” Isabel said.
At that moment, Amy was able to get off the bus but turned around to capture her “perfect picture.” That’s when she took this sweet photo of Isabel holding Axel’s hand.
The Augusta Police Department posted the heartwarming photo on their Facebook page and it immediately got a lot of attention online. Many people praised the bus driver for her kindness and compassion.
Isabel had been driving for the Augusta School District for less than a year, and she says that she loves working with kids.
“I could see that he needed to be comforted and that was the best I could do at the time,” she said.
Since they are from a small town, Isabel says that she gets to know the children she’s driving to school daily.
“You get invested in cheering them on,” she said. “A big win for me is every morning I tell the kids as they get off to make it a good day and when I have a kid who I know doesn’t like to go to school say, ‘Yeah, I’ll try.’ It makes me feel good because they heard me and I hope it makes them feel like they can be heard.”
The good news is that after Axel talked to Isabel on the 1st day of school, he stopped crying before the end of the road.
“Now he gets on the bus everyday ready to go and loves school,” Amy said.
Sometimes, we just need the assurance that somebody is there for us when we are in uncomfortable situations. For Axel, that person was Isabel, who evidently did a good job in encouraging the child to enjoy his 1st day of school!