Off with a smile
‘Crazy Bus Stop Mom’ spreads morning cheer
— Just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Candice Thompson and her two daughters emerged from their house on Craigtown Road and prepared to make the short walk to the bus stop.
But the three only got a few feet before Thompson’s
attire started turning heads.
“What are you?” a boy yelled from across the street when he spotted them.
“A nun!” Thompson shouted back, doing a small dance in her costume as the boy laughed.
It’s just one of the many goofy disguises she’s worn to take her children to the bus stop each morning for the past two years. What started out as just donning silly hats, has evolved into full costumes and even a
Facebook page (Crazy Bus Stop Mom) to show off her various looks.
But throughout, Thompson’s goal has been the same: sending kids off to school with a smile.
“I just like dressing up and being funny,” she said. “The kids love it and they go to school happy.”
Thompson gets most of her costumes from discount stores such as Dollar General and Walmart and they run the gamut from Lady Gaga (“I think that scared the kids”) to a Zebra onesie (“That was super easy to get into”) and even a bright pink wig (“That’s always a favorite”).
The nun costume, however, is causing confusion. Thompson had worried about this, which is why she, and her two youngest daughters Leyla, 9, and Abigail, 6, spent some time the night before franti- cally googling how to turn a nun costume into a penguin costume to no avail.
The kids might be too young for “Sister Act,” Thompson mused.
“I’m giving you all homework. Your homework today is to go watch ‘Sister Act,’” Thompson shouted to the group of kids that were now making their way to the bus stop.
They just laughed. Most of the kids are used to Thompson’s antics by now and also know her from Bainbridge Elementary School, where she works parttime in the cafeteria, often quizzing the kids who come through the lunch line on what costume she wore that morning.
As the school bus’s arrival drew closer, Thompson began flipping through her phone, which is hooked up to a handheld speaker, for an appropriate morning song. When the bus pulls up, Thompson stands by the door giving out fist bumps and high fives and dancing in her nun costume.
After her kids’ bus leaves, she usually sticks around for a few minutes to wave to the other buses that drive down Craigtown Road.
“All the bus drivers know to wave to me,” she said.
Many of the students wave, too, and Thompson said her two youngest daughters also enjoy the costumes and even help her dress up in the morning. Though she’s told them that she’ll stop at anytime if they don’t like it anymore, Thompson figures she has until they finish elementary school before they’re embarrassed by her costumes.
Her oldest daughter is now in sixth grade and is less appreciative of her mother’s morning antics.
“If I ever came up to the bus stop with her, she would disown me,” Thompson said with a laugh.
But Thompson hopes other parents might hear about her morning ritual and start doing the same thing at their kids’ bus stops. She’s already got at least one person who hopes to carry on the tradition.
“Leyla wants to do this for her kids when she grows up,” Thompson said.
Candice Thompson dressed as a nun to greet kids at the bus stop on Wednesday morning.
Candice Thompson dressed up as a ‘Pirate Star’ to take her kids to the bus stop.
Candice Thompson poses in a Zebra onesie with her daughters Alexis and Leyla.