Doug Hayes has 10 grandchildren, so you might think that it would be difficult for him to fit in quality time with each and every one of them. However, the Gladstone, Oregon man has come up with an ingenious — and super-sweet — way to see all 10 of his grandkids on a daily basis. Hayes purchased a genuine yellow school bus, and he plans to drive his whole brood of grandchildren to and from school in the vehicle each day.
Hayes revealed the surprise to grandkids on Dec. 20 as an early Christmas surprise. His wife, Amy, took to Facebook to share some photos of the “Grandfather Express.” In her post, she also explained how the bus came to be:
Amy said that while out to dinner for Doug’s 59th birthday last June, she asked her husband if there was anything he’d yet to check off his “bucket list.” While he was initially stumped for an answer, he eventually told his wife he’d like a bus.
“‘I want a bus so I can go around every morning, pick up all the grandkids, and drive them to school before I go to work,'” she recalled him saying. “‘Just a small bus. We’d sing songs, talk, and it would be something unforgettable they did with their grandfather. If money were no object, I’d want a bus.'”
Amy was touched that out of all the things or experiences he could wish for, he chose a bus in order to spend more time with his grandchildren. But she also wasn’t surprised, as she says her husband is always focused “on other people’s needs.”
“Cousins’ Christmas Party was today and for their last Advent gift before our family ‘Christmas’ morning, they got a bus,” she wrote at the end of her post. “The Grandfather Express is now in service. I love this man.”
Here’s a picture posted to Facebook a couple of days later, in which Amy Hayes showed a local news station taking images of her kids in front of the “Grandfather Express.”
Five of the Hayes’ grandchildren attend school at Paideia Classical Christian School, while the other five are not yet old enough to go to school. The children live within a 20-minute drive of each other, and their school is just a few short miles from their grandpa’s house. The small private school isn’t big enough to warrant its own school bus fleet, so when the kids found out about their very own private school bus, they loved the idea.
“When they saw it, they were just ecstatic,” Hayes told CNN.
The Grandfather Express will make its maiden voyage on the first day back to school after the holiday break.
What an awesome grandpa! Here’s hoping the Grandfather Express will serve as these kids’ mode of transportation to school for years to come!