We all have favourites. Let us not kid ourselves. Sure, as a parent, we never say that to our kids. It can hurt the child, and he may feel left out.

But why can’t we have favourites?

There is a reason why one child is favoured over others.

On my bus, I have my favourite.

There is a grade eight girl who sits at the very back of the bus. The extent of our conversations is “Hello” in the morning and “Bye” at night. Nothing more.

So why is this particular child my favourite?

Two reasons.

First, she is my last student on the ride home. When she gets off, I go home. I love being home.

Second, if, for whatever reason, she is not on the bus, I get to go home all the faster.

So she is my favourite only because she symbolizes the completion of my day: a rather selfish reason, but all the same, my favourite student.

On this particular day, I had loaded all my students on the bus and just started driving them to their homes.

“WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?” a loud female voice shouts from the back of the bus.

I look into my big mirror to see my students. There is a cluster of girls in the back, all looking forward. I continue my drive.

Again, the question is posed. I looked and wondered who she was talking to. I asked who was asking the question and who she was asking.

“YOU!”

Me?

Me, the old, cranky bus driver?

Yes, she was asking if I would be her Valentine.

How endearing. I was touched. This girl shouting from the back of the bus asking about Valentine’s reminded me of the father, who told me he loved me. I wrote about this encounter last week. (Check out that story on my Facebook or TravelsWithStacey.com ) Here is another example of the appreciation that people have for me.

Wow.

It is nice to be loved and admired for my work. So few people these days will tell another how their efforts are making others’ lives much better. Hearing this appreciation twice in one week has a lot of meaning! And it was coming from my favourite student too!

Obviously, there are many reasons why I could not accept this Valentine’s proposal. “SORRY, I CAN’T BE YOUR VALENTINE,” I shouted to the back of the bus.

“WHY?” there was not a hint of offence in her voice.

I point to my ring and shout, “I AM MARRIED!” At this time, the whole bus is listening in on this loudest of bus conversations.

“DID YOU ASK HER TO BE YOUR VALENTINE?” the girl asked with honest curiosity.

“I DID ONE BETTER: I MARRIED HER.”

The bus started to ask all kinds of questions about my beloved wife, to which I shouted back the answers. Of all the people I have encountered, hearing the love and appreciation from this one woman in my life, who is now my wife, is the most endearing of all.

It is also nice to hear from strangers just how amazing I am. Just ask Charlene how great it is being with me.

Love you, wife!

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