Readers — A Michigan mom is upset not just that her 8-year-old daughter hopped a public bus without telling her, but that the bus driver didn’t immediately take some kind of unspecified but heroic action to stop this non-catastrophe:
Two things in particular gall me about this story:
1 – The air time afforded to Worst-First thinking. “The mom [is] just grateful that what COULD have happened didn’t,” the dutifully grave reporter intones. Playing her own part, the mom pipes up:
“Oh my goodness, just all kinds of thoughts run through your mind, somebody could’ve taken her, she could’ve just been lost somewhere downtown.I know a lot of kids who leave home don’t make it back.”
Really? Name one.
I wish the reporter had said that!
2 – Also per usual, the mom is demanding a complete overhaul of the way the bus authority does business, based on this one, single, uneventful event. Hooray for CATA (Capital Area Transit Authority) for not immediately groveling, “You’re right! From now on we will stop the bus in its tracks when anyone young and competent tries to ride without a guardian.” Amtrak could use balls like these.
Note that while the mom was angry, the kid refused to see her adventure as anything but fun. “I made some friends!”
It sounded like someone off-screen was chuckling at that pluck — the reporter or the mom — but the mom still had to sum it up this way: “If my kid could do it , some other kids could too.”
To me, that’s an endorsement of her child’s independence. But I don’t think that’s how she meant it. – L