The Best Gift To Give A Kid For Christmas - CATEGORY News update: TITLE

The bus fills with passengers as we approach the city. A group of Asian students boards with laughter, staring into each other's phones. A painfully thin junkie rattling with nervous energy takes a seat at the back. An elderly man reeking of alcohol stumbles on, wearing his own Santa hat and ruddy Rudolph nose. But I don't see any other kids. Hmm. Maybe this gift is a little odd after all.

And yet, my son's eyes are everywhere. He's admiring the large bus windows and colourful seat patterns while the diesel engine rumbles behind his dangling gumboots. He watches people press the bell to disembark. Now he wants to press the bell more than anything. I let him as we approach our final destination.

It's a short stop. We stretch our legs and immediately reboard for the return journey. The Christmas Day service is a special loop that runs hourly.

Riding home, I savour familiar sights of streets I once walked to high school. We pass by the homes of old classmates to whom I no longer speak or of whose whereabouts I don't even know. I see the house of my teenage crush, and remember all the times I rode past on my Malvern Star, hoping to catch a glimpse of her reading a book on the verandah. But I never did.

I pull my son close. He nestles in, comfortable and safe. The day will come when a bus ride will be just a bus ride. Anxious journeys to school, mind-numbing commutes to work, and tiresome shuttles to the airport. Until then, I drink in such moments., index latest News this day of events, accidents, crime, law, News unique, Politics, and special reports on the world and International.

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