Cat is out of the pocket
He accelerated and came around the corner. He tried to hide, stopped behind a parked car and dropped into his seat. He looked out his window and looked at her.
Isabella heard the bus arrive, she went outside in a hurry and got on and off, she went to school. He decided to go after her. He thought everything was fine, but when he saw the truth he felt sick in the stomach. Was he to blame?
Isabella, 11, and her father, Philip Pieri, lived in Utah. Her morning routine consisted of her father getting ready and going to work before the sun came up, while Isabella had to get ready for school alone and get to the bus on time.
Since Philip always left before she even woke up, he always assumed she was doing the same thing every day. When she showed him a late slip one day, he understood that mistakes happen. But when she started bringing more home, he knew something was wrong.
Isabella was a happy kid, Philip worked hard to make that happen. Although he never brought home a lot of money, he always used it skillfully to make sure everyone was happy, and money isn’t always everything.
Philip’s greatest supporter was his wife Patricia. She was always by his side to make sure he wasn’t worried as he liked to do. But none of them could have imagined what would happen next.
But after Isabella was three years old, a tragedy struck. Patrica was diagnosed with an incurable disease and died after an exhausting six years of struggle. Philip no longer had his stone, he threw himself into his work instead of turning to grief.
He told himself, no matter what, he would make sure that Isabella, his everything, is well looked after. But because of his dedication to his work, she had no one to help her get ready before she had to go to school.
After Isabella’s mother passed away, she became an independent child. She was responsible for getting up early and preparing for school before getting on the bus herself.
She felt it was too much for a child, but she understood why her father did what he was. If he could be strong, so could she, she told herself. After two years of practicing this routine, problems began to arise that Philip was unaware of.
Isabella started bringing home late slip-ups from her school. Philip did what any responsible parent would and sat them down for a chat. But Isabella didn’t want to talk about it.
She tried to hide the truth from him. She would always change the subject when he brought it up. Philip wasn’t happy with that and wanted to find out what was really going on. But he had to make sure she didn’t know about his plan.
Philip had thought of a plan. He would take a little time off to see where Isabella was going and what was bringing her late each day. Did she lie to him about taking the bus? He drove back to his neighborhood and parked his car around the corner from their house. He slid down so he wasn’t visible and waited.
He saw the bus arrive and Isabella came out of the house and got on just like she said she would. Confused, he took the bus to her school, and then he noticed it.
He understood that his daughter was fighting there without her mother. He wished it could have been different, but none of them could change it. But he didn’t know she had changed that much. Was it his fault?
It’s really hard when a young child experiences the loss of their parents. Isabella was no different. She had no one with a mother’s intuition to help her growing up. Philip knew he could never help her like her mother could. He wanted to remember what he had seen.
After what Philip saw, he decided to ask her about it while he was eating. He tried to get it right by being calm and understanding. He asked her about her sleep schedule and whether that meant she was late. But Isabella shook her head and said nothing.
He knew she would never tell him openly, so he had to confront her with what he had seen. And when he did, she stared at him in disbelief.
He asked her why she would stay on the bus after all the other children had left. He knew that was why she was always late. When he blurted out, the tears of truth ran down Isabella’s face.
Why did the bus driver hold her back after all the other kids left? What authority did she have for that? He asked Isabella why.
Isabella’s mother died before she had the opportunity to teach her child some of the necessities of life. These opportunities had been stolen from Isabella and she carried on without them. Philip didn’t understand their troubles nearly as well as he had thought. He didn’t know anything about girly things.
Philip hung his head and tears formed in his eyes. He quickly wiped them away so his daughter wouldn’t see him so vulnerable. What did he see?
Since she was small, Isabella struggled with her hair. She didn’t know how to properly take care of it and was afraid to tell her father about it after what happened last time.
He had tried as hard as possible to untangle Isabella’s hair, but he didn’t know how to do it. “She would get mad at me for pulling her hair. I didn’t know how to do it, ”he admitted. Then he took drastic measures.
He took the clipper he’d cut his hair with and used it to shave Isabella’s hair. After Isabella examined her bald head in the mirror, she was appalled by what he had done.
However, knowing that he was doing his best, she hid her sadness. It took two years to grow up again. When her father suggested shaving it next time it got matted, Isabella refused. Then they agreed on a compromise.
A good shot
Instead of shaving Isabella’s head again, Philip took out a pair of scissors and cut half the length. But that didn’t solve the problem, and soon Isabella’s hair was matted and unkempt again.
She had no choice but to tie it up to hide it until the bus driver noticed.
Tracy Dean loved her job and she loved children. When she saw that Isabella was in trouble, she knew she had to intervene.
She saw that Isabella’s hair had been cut the night before and suspected that her father had no idea how to style it. She asked her to stay back on the bus and took a hair styling kit out of her purse.
A morning routine
Soon, Isabella’s and Tracy’s hair styling sessions became routine. Every morning Tracy combed Isabella’s hair and braided it in a French braid.
“I could see that she was struggling with her hair. We usually do two French braids first and now and then she just wants one, ”Tracy admitted in an interview. But why did she do that?
At first it was slow. It took Tracy a full 10 minute week to slowly detangle Isabella’s hair. She’d been a little late for school those days, but Tracy knew it was important.
She has four children at home – one almost Isabella’s age. But when Isabella started researching her mother, Tracy couldn’t hold back.
A deep connection
When Tracy heard from Isabella’s mother, she started crying. It was a story close to her heart.
Tracy revealed that she had cancer of her own in the past, as was Isabella’s mother. She knew she was lucky enough to get through and was grateful that she could still be there for her children.
What mothers do
“I found out seven years ago that I had breast cancer and that’s one of the things that went through my head,” said Tracy, pausing to hold back the tears.
“Who will take care of my little ones? Not that my husband couldn’t, but you know that’s what mom does. They do their children’s hair, ”Tracy added.
A motherly touch
“I didn’t just survive for my husband or children. I survived on the bus for these kids who need someone to talk to or do their hair or whatever, ”Tracy explained in an interview.
“I also taught (Isabella) how to brush her hair. She would get on the bus and say, “I brushed my hair. Does it look good? I’ll say, “You did great.”
His little princess
When Philip found out about Tracy and Isabella’s morning routine, he was naturally amazed. Isabella held it against him because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
But Philip is only grateful to Tracy. “Someday [Isabella] came home and it looked beautiful. I call her my princess and she looks like she plays the part and her confidence is way above what I intended, ”said Philip.
Philip says he was “amazed” to learn that the school bus driver showed his daughter such an act of kindness. “Tracy didn’t have to show up, but she stepped forward to help,” he said, hiding the tears.
“I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn’t know how and everything was messed up and I couldn’t get it out for anything,” he told KSL TV.
“I feel like she’s a mom to me and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does the next day,” said Isabella. But it goes much deeper.
For Isabella, her neat and beautifully styled hair made a huge difference. And others noticed it too. “I just noticed that her head was a little higher this morning and she had a slightly larger step,” said one of her teachers.
As in many heartwarming stories, news of Dean’s kindness spread like wildfire thanks to social media. Internet users shared their thoughts on the story.
One user commented, “I love this. Really a wonderful reminder of what kindness is to contribute, for both gifted and gifted. “Another user said,” It’s the little things that are the big things. ” But what is Isabella thinking?
A humble hero
“Tracy is the best bus driver in the whole galaxy!” Isabella exclaimed. And soon the media got wind of the heartwarming story and Tracy was hailed as a heroine, but she remains humble.
“It’s just the way my mom raised me to be nice to everyone – people who need a little love in their life. I like giving all kids a chance – even the naughty kids, ”she suggested.