Dear Seacoast New Hampshire Parents,

I am a parent of a kindergartener, and my father drove a school bus in retirement. So kindly dispose of your pitchforks, sit crisscross applesauce, and listen.

I’d like to remind you about a concept that seems to have escaped certain communities on the Seacoast, and that is the bus stop. Remember the bus stop? It’s where children from nearby houses assemble along with their parents and wait for the school bus.

You don’t see many bus stops these days. Instead, you see a lot of kids standing in the driveways of adjacent houses – close enough that they can speak, but evidently, too far to constitute a bus stop.

I learned this the hard way last week traveling through Greenland when I found myself behind a school bus. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the bus stopped at three – yes, three – consecutive houses to let one – yes one – child off the bus at each house.

Here’s how close these houses were: the parent on the front stoop of one house was effortlessly carrying on with a neighbor from the house two lawns over (why yes, each parent was wearing either flip-flops or slippers. How’d you know?).

Their children, meanwhile, bounced happily off the bus…then continued speaking with their friend next door! All while a Macy’s Parade of commuters formed behind them on Post Road.

Why can’t we consolidate these stops into one? Is it a status thing for the parents? Disagreement over the proposed bus stop chaperone plan? Are they simply resisting the idea of putting on shoes?

I have nothing against Greenland; you see this in many local towns. It's preposterous. It teaches your kids to be antisocial, and may make them think their parents are lazy.

And parents: think of the all the benefits you reap from a bus stop. Neighborhood gossip. Some hot betting tips. A chance to rag on your neighbor who had an owl stuck in their chimney. Maybe you even saw Bigfoot.

This is Post Road. Not Route 66. This senseless individuality must stop, so that busses don’t have to.

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