She unfolded the paper and slowly read through the words – taking them in one by one so she was sure she understood the message.
Never, in all her years of parenting, had she found something like this in her kid’s bag. When she got to the end, she knew there was only one thing to do.
Leonor, of Princeton New Jersey, finished packing her kid’s lunches for the school day.
It might have been early, but they were already beaming with bright smiles as they ran in to grab their bags. She was lucky to have such wonderful children. She had no idea, that in a few days, the entire world would know them.
One familiar face within the school routine was Cindy Clausen.
She had been a bus driver for years, but the family hadn’t been on her route for that long. One day, while she was waiting for the kids to come inside, she noticed something odd with their departure.
While most kids skip off as fast as they can, happy to be done with school, the driver would stop them and chat for a long moment.
Leonor raised an eyebrow but tried not to read too much into it – at least until she was able to ask her kids what was going on.
As Jorge and Annaliese nibbled on their after-school snack, she slipped in the question among the rest of her normal inquires.
After all, the long exchange could have been something important. The kids kept eating and went on and on about the ride and the kids they sat with. Nothing popped out. So why the chat?
The mom shrugged and decided to drop it (for now). She would peek out the window as the kids got off and keep tally.
Granted, it would have been nerve-wracking if it was a man driving, but she took no chances when it came to her kids. Even though her husband told her to relax, she went ahead and asked a few of the other parents.
It was as she feared. No other kids really got the same kind of attention.
The only incidences involved someone who had got in trouble during the ride. Even then, it wasn’t often. Her mommy-senses were tingling and not something to be ignored. She decided to talk to her kids again.
“Nothing” was the main answer. To them, it had been normal and a bit boring.
They had bus friends; but, that wasn’t what the mom was looking for. Something was going on and she had to find out. If only she had known that the following day would bring her the final, surprising answer.
It had been after another exchange before drop-off. Leonor was unpacking their bags when she saw something white tucked inside.
She pulled out a folded piece of paper. Was it a field trip slip? Hopefully, it wasn’t a letter from the teacher or principal. She skipped to the ending and saw who it was from.
The bus driver, Cindy Clausen, had put a letter in her daughter’s backpack.
It had been typed and printed from a computer, but the name had been signed with a pen – and a little heart after the woman’s name. Leonor let the words sink in, finally understanding what had happened.
She felt like a fool. She had asked her kids over and over, and they had told her the answer many times – she just never paid attention to those details (thinking they weren’t important).
It turns out there had been an ongoing string of events involving the two kids and a little boy called Jackson who was very special.
The scene unfolded in the letter and the mom felt tears forming. The worries and fears had been unfounded.
It turns out the two children had been sitting with Jackson because he felt lonely and sad. The other kids didn’t want to interact with him because of a disability that made him move slowly.
The two children were showing compassion beyond their years.
The bus driver explained that she was compelled to tell her how beautiful they were inside and out. Leonor felt the tears flow harder. She called her husband over. The things her little angels were doing were inspiring. The news eventually reached Jackson’s mom.
They had carried his bags and cheered him on when he was having trouble.
“I look at them as angels because it’s just like, how do they know to be so compassionate and so kind, you know?” she said. “It’s so pure and genuine.” The story spread to millions and everyone had their own praise.
It wasn’t just complimenting the excelling parenting and stellar values.
The world gushed about the children’s beautiful souls, and that they hoped that life and the coming years wouldn’t change or diminish that. In a world of bad news, it was a flicker of good that was sorely needed.