This is our first year of having company at our school bus stop. And the kids love it! There is one girl in their class and one little girl in first grade, both of whom live up and around the corner. We didn't really know them well before this but had been on a waving basis with the mom of the little girl.
And now the bus stop is their favorite time of the day. They play soccer or basketball, chalk up the driveway, walk across the rock wall, run around the house, and play on the swing set. There is lots of squealing. And smiles. At least until I yell, "Bus!" as it rounds the corner. (I can always hear the brakes in advance.) After school isn't quite as much fun--they all quickly separate, but the three older ones sometimes reconvene after homework.
The little girl's grandparents (it started with one set, now it's the other; both visit for a long time, from China) bring her every morning, sometimes one, sometimes both, and often with her little sister. Her grandparents only speak Mandarin, so I get to practice my "ni hao" and "tsi jian" each day.
It's so much fun that the girl in their class has been arriving earlier and earlier. Yesterday she was 23 minutes early! And she might have been even earlier--we noticed her peeking through the window watching and waiting, which she did perched atop a lawn chair she'd dragged to the window. Yes, a little stalking-ish.
But the kids are thrilled. There's no dawdling in the mornings now. And they're making friends.
Can't wait until there's snow!!! (Though, that might be a little messy BEFORE school.)