August 27, 2014 | 09:13 AM Earlier this month, two of our grandchildren climbed aboard the big yellow school bus for the first time. One of those rites of passage, it's often harder for parents to watch than for children to board. It's a powerful symbol of individuation, of the child letting go of parents in order to go forward in life.
One of the first scenes in the movie "Forrest Gump" is of Forrest, both legs in clunky, ugly braces, boarding the bus on the first day of school only to hear kids greet him with "This seat's taken" or "You can't sit here." The very last scene in the movie is of Forrest watching his own son get on the bus and Dorothy Harris, the same bus driver Forrest had on his first day of school a generation earlier, haul Forrest Jr. off. The circle of life goes on.
Seventy years ago this month, Anne Frank was arrested in Amsterdam along with her family and several others. The place they had been hiding from the Nazis for two years was a space of about 500 square feet concealed behind a movable bookcase. Everyone had to keep quiet all day, not even flushing a toilet or opening a window for fear of being discovered.
In her diary, Anne wrote about what everyone in hiding missed most. Two wished above all else to have a hot bath "filled to the brim." One wanted most a cake, another to go downtown again. Anne's mother wanted most a cup of real coffee. Anne wrote that what she herself wanted most was "to go back to school!"
At age 16, Anne died of typhus in a concentration camp.
Teach the children that there are some things in life worse than having to get up and go to school. Dr. Wayne Willis