If there was some sort of fairy dust I could sprinkle on my kids to either stay young or bypass the teenage years completely, I may consider it. Those teen years are my biggest fear. Puberty, sex, and driving. No thanks. But I can't keep my kids locked in a room from 13 to 18 (right?), so instead of freaking out over all the terribly tragic stories out there, I need to focus on the good ones. Seventeen-year-old Graceann Rumer is a good kid. She makes me see it's okay to let teens be teens and learn to drive. Just two weeks ago, she was figuring out which is the gas pedal and which is the brake and had been driving to school with her family for practice. But on Tuesday she decided to take the school bus instead.
It was also on Tuesday that her bus driver, 51-year-old Charles Duncan, had a heart attack while driving and slumped to the floor. His body was blocking the brake pedal as the bus headed for oncoming traffic with nearly 40 students on board.
"I just realized that there's no one driving this bus ... I need to do something," Rumer, who is a student at Calvary Christian Academy in northeast Philadelphia, told NBC Philadelphia.
She sure did something. She grabbed the wheel and steered the bus to a U-turn so it could slow down and get away from oncoming traffic.
Okay, this is a school bus we're talking about -- a big bus, with the brakes being blocked by the driver who sadly died after his heart attack and a 17-year-old had the cool head to figure out how to do all that and eventually get the bus off the road and into park so it would stop.
What a great kid -- a really fast-thinking, great kid. No one was hurt, and many are calling Rumor a hero, but she thinks it was just a "legit miracle" and that she was just the closest student to the driver who knew anything about driving. You know that song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that goes "teach your children well"? Yeah, that. Even the things we are afraid to teach them -- like driving, even about sex. If they don't know, then how will they know how to react in the face of danger or an emergency, or in a precarious situation.
It's kids like Graceann Rumor that make me have hope -- I can survive the teen years ... provided I teach my children well.
Do you worry about your child driving? Do stories like this give you hope and remind you that the teen years can make you proud?
Image via Cast a Line/Flickr