As he drove around the corner, he parked behind the car of their neighbor. He watched her from behind the steering wheel. There was his daughter, Isabella, running out of their house and getting on the bus. This did not answer any of his questions just yet, however. Once the bus left, he followed it. Everything looked like it was going as it should be until the truth dawned on him… Was any of it his fault? Should he have done more to help his little girl?
Something Was Wrong
Philip Pieri was the father of an 11-year-old girl. The two of them lived in Utah. Each morning, he would go to work before the sun rose. This meant that Isabella, his daughter, has to get ready for school and take the bus independently. As far as he knew, she never failed to do this, so he did not give it much thought when she showed him a late slip. But he became concerned when it continued to happen!
A Happy Childhood
His little girl had a normal childhood. Even though the family was not rich, she had a loving home. Philip made sure to work as hard as he could to give her everything that she needed. He was thankful for Patricia’s support, his wife, who never failed to shower both of them with love and affection.
The Need To Adjust
When their daughter was no more than three years old, Patricia learned that she had a terminal illness. Sadly, she ended up losing the battle six years later. Her demise had been hard on Philip and Isabella, but he decided to work hard instead of wallowing in grief. After all, he still had a daughter to take care of! But thanks to this, he could not help Isabella get ready for school in the morning.
Something He Overlooked
When a kid loses a parent, it is only natural for them to become independent. Isabella did not just wake up on time in the morning, but she also got ready and caught the school bus on her own. It was not easy, but she had no other choice. Two years later, Philip learned that he overlooked ceratin issues…
The Red Flags
Philip could not help but feel confused when his daughter started to bring home late slips regularly. He sat down and asked Isabella what was up. The young girl did not want to talk about it, however. She changed the subject, which only made her father grow even more suspicious. What was going on? Why did she refuse to talk about whatever was causing this? In the end, he was surprised to hear the actual reason for her silence!
His Sneaky Plan
The truth was that he had a plan. He decided that he would try to see if his daughter rode the bus as she told him that she did. The concerned father went to the corner of the street, ducking his head down as he waited. Soon enough, he saw Isabella run out and hop on the bus when it pulled up. Philip trailed the bus, but he was surprised by what happened after that.
Not Easy For Her
He was aware that it was difficult for Isabella to grow up without her mother. Even so, he did not expect this at all. He could not blame the young girl for what happened. After all, it must be difficult for such a young child to lose one of her parents. There was a hole in her life that he could not fill. When he learned the truth, he could not help but think of this even more.
Asking Her Again
At home, he sat down with her once more. First of all, he asked her if she was having trouble sleeping. This could be a good way to explain occasional tardiness. Isabella told him that she slept fine but refused to offer him more information. He had no other choice, so he brought up what he saw with his own two eyes. His daughter could not help but gape at him in surprise.
The Moment Of Truth
Philip asked Isabella why she stayed on the bus even when the other kids had already gotten out. It was clear that this was the root of the problem. All of a sudden, his daughter broke down crying! As you can imagine, he was very concerned about her. Why did the bus driver hold her back on the bus? “Why would she do that?” he asked. This was when she finally revealed the truth to him.
A Huge Problem
Isabella had only been 9 years old when her mom died. With only her dad around, there were things that she could not or did not know how to do. Philip was aware that he could not help her with girly things since those topics were not his areas of expertise. However, it looked like he underestimated the gravity of the situation. When he realized how big of a problem it was, a tear rolled down his cheek…
Her Hair Problems
Since Isabella was a little girl, she had a hard time with her hair. She had no idea how to take care of it and did not know how to tell her father about it. Even though he tried to help her as much as possible, he did not know how to fix it. “She’d get mad at me for pulling her hair. I didn’t know how to do it,” he shared. In the end, he decided to take drastic measures to get it all sorted out!
It Was All Gone
He grabbed the clippers that he used for his own hair and shaved off his daughter’s hair! As you can imagine, the young girl had been horrified to see the result. She knew that he tried his best; however, so she hid her sadness. Two years later, it had finally grown out once more. She turned down his suggestion to shave it once more. In the end, Philip and Isabella ended up reaching an agreement.
Chopping It Off
Philip did not shave her head once more. He instead grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped off half of it. This did not help very much. After all, her hair soon became unkempt and matted again! She decided to hide it by tying it up. Things changed when the bus driver figured out what was going on.
Someone Noticed Her
Tracy Dean, the bus driver, liked her job and children. When she noticed that Isabella was having a hard time, she decided to help. She saw that the young girl got a haircut the previous night and correctly guessed that her father did not know what to do. This was why she asked Isabella to stay on the bus and retrieved her hairstyling kit from a handbag!
Her Morning Routine
Isabella and Tracy started to do the hairstyling sessions more often. She combed the young girl’s hair in the morning and put it in a French braid. In an interview, the bus driver shared, “I could tell she was struggling with her hair. We usually do two French braids first, and once in a while, she wants one braid.” But what made her do such a thing in the first place?
Things Got Better
It was not easy for them at first. Tracy spent an entire week of ten-minute sessions before she could untangle the hair. This explains why Isabella had been a little late for class! Even so, they knew that this was important. Tracy is the mother of four kids, and one of them is the same age as Isabella. She got emotional when she heard about what happened to the young girl’s mother.
She Could Relate
After learning what happened to Isabella’s mom, Tracy could not stop the waterworks. It felt very personal to her. The truth is that the bus driver used to have cancer as well! It was a good thing that she was lucky enough to survive the disease. She was glad that she was still around to raise the kids.
It’s What Moms Do
“Seven years ago, I found out I had breast cancer, and that’s one of the things that went through my head,” she said. She paused to hold back her tears before adding, “Who is going to take care of my little ones? Not that my husband couldn’t do it, but you know, that’s what mom’s do. They do their kids’ hair.”
For Other Children Too
“I didn’t just survive for my husband or my children. I survived for these kids on the bus that need somebody to talk to or do their hair or whatever,” she shared when she was interviewed. Tracy went on, “I also taught (Isabella) how to brush her hair. She’d get on the bus, and she’d say, ‘I brushed my hair. Does it look good? I’ll say, ‘You did awesomely.’”
Why She Kept It A Secret
Philip was dumbfounded when he learned the truth about their morning routine. He also found out that his little girl kept it a secret since she did not want him to feel hurt. However, he is only thankful for what Tracy did. “One day, [Isabella] came home, and it looked beautiful. I call her my princess, and she looks the part, she plays the part, and her confidence is way up, which is what I’ve been intending.”
Act Of Kindness
He “was amazed” to learn that the school bus driver was doing such a thing for Isabella. “Tracy didn’t have to step up, but she stepped up to help out,” the emotional father shared, clearly moved. He also told KSL TV, “I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn’t know how, and it was all tangled, and I couldn’t get it out for anything.”
An Ego Boost
“It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me, and it makes me really excited for the next day to see what she does,” said Isabella. But it actually goes even deeper than that. For the little girl, her hair has made a big difference in her life. Other people noticed its effects as well. One of the teachers in the school said, “I just noticed her head was a little higher that morning, and she had a little more of a step.”
Going Viral Online
We are not surprised to hear that this amazing story made rounds on the internet. It is always touching to hear stories about acts of kindness! People were moved by what Tracy did for Isabella. “Loving this. Truly a wonderful reminder of what a contribution kindness is, for both the gifted and the gifter,” a user said. Another netizen commented, “It’s the little things that are the big things.”
The Humble Heroine
“Tracy is the best bus driver in the whole galaxy!” said Isabella herself. Soon enough, the press learned of the incredible story. The bus driver was deemed a heroine, but she is still as humble as ever. Tracy only said, “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 to give all of the kids a chance—even the naughty kids,” she chimed.