GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) — A simple quote helped a Goddard school bus driver and a first-grade student become friends.

Each weekday morning, Goddard bus driver Wayne Weese welcomes each student as the door opens. One day, a simple “good morning” turned into something more.

“She stepped on the bus one morning. As I recall it, we both said good morning to each other at the same time, and she stated, ‘I said it first,’ meaning she said it first, and I argued with her, ‘No, I said it before you,'” Weese said.

“I came up with the challenge that whoever says good morning first wins,” said Lennox Welsh, who is now a second grader at Goddard.

From there, the games began.

“I would say, ‘Mr. Weese, good morning! And I said it first,'” Welsh said.

“It got to the point where I would open my window and see her standing out, and I would yell, ‘Good morning, Lennox!’ to her down the street. She would get on the bus, say, ‘Good morning,’ say, ‘I won.’ I said, ‘No, you didn’t. I yelled it out the window,’ and she said, ‘I didn’t hear it, so it doesn’t count,'” Weese said.

Due to health issues, Welsh didn’t get to ride the bus all school year when she was a first grader. But on the last day of school, her mom helped make that good morning extra special.

“We made him a mug with a bus on it saying ‘Good morning, Mr. Weese,’ and then, on the back with my own handwriting, it says, ‘I said it first,'” Welsh said.

Goddard school bus driver Wayne Weese, and student Lennox Welsh, become friends (KSN Photo)

And she finished giving her gift with, “Now I win every morning.”

“I saw the cup, and I thought, well played, Lennox, well played,” Weese said. “I actually teared up because I hadn’t thought that our contest was that important to her.”

Welsh said that each day the contest went on, it helped her feel ready for school.

“He would come up with something to make you feel better. He would come up with something to make you laugh,” she said.

Both say the competition for good manners will live on in memory.

“He’s my best friend. Like I wish I still had him as a bus driver,” Welsh said.

Even though she no longer rides his bus, as long as she sees Mr. Weese, she makes sure to say good morning first.

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