Axel was battling with nerves on his first day of school, and as soon as he saw the school bus, he became upset, his mother Amy Johnson told CNN.
When the young boy was queuing up with his mother for the school bus, ready to start his first day of 4K—a pre-kindergarten year for children under the age of 4—he seemed like he couldn’t wait to get there.
But as Johnson attempted to capture the special moment of her son on the school bus for the first time on camera, he burst into tears.
“He was super excited to go, but when the bus came around corner he was really quiet,” she told the outlet. “The bus opened the door, and I looked at him, and he started crying.”
Johnson said she lifted her son and tried to bring him to a seat on the school bus, but he refused to let go of her and held onto her tightly.
However, the bus driver, named Isabel Lane, noticing how anxious Axel was, did everything she could to try and make him feel a little better. She pointed to an empty seat right behind her own, Johnson recalled.
“I told him, ‘Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun,’ ” Johnson said.
As Axel’s mother tried to get off the bus, he kept clinging onto her.
That’s when Lane did the sweetest thing to calm him down.
“I stuck my hand behind the seat as maybe something else to grab onto, and he grabbed my hand,” the bus driver told CNN.
When Johnson looked back to take a photo of her son on the school bus, she ended up capturing the most heartwarming photo.
The photograph was uploaded by the Augusta Police Department on Facebook, much to the delight of social media users around the world.
Lane, who has been driving school children in the Augusta School District for just under a year, said she just wanted to try her best to make him feel better.
“I could see that he needed to be comforted and that was the best I could do at the time,” she said.
Lane told CNN she always tries her best to set the children up with a positive mindset as they start their school day.
“You get invested in cheering them on,” she said. “A big win for me is every morning I tell the kids as they get off to make it a good day and when I have a kid who I know doesn’t like to go to school say, ‘Yeah, I’ll try.’ It makes me feel good because they heard me and I hope it makes them feel like they can be heard.”
Lane’s kind gestures appear to have paid off, Axel’s mother said, explaining that he no longer cries before getting on the school bus.
“Now he gets on the bus every day ready to go and loves school,” she added.