We started the week with back-to-school haircuts. This was Jillson's first "beauty parlor" haircut, as she called it. She enjoyed the attention and the purple lollipop that Marinda, her stylist, gave her at the end.
It was not only Madelyn's first beauty parlor haircut, it was her first haircut ever. She ate it right up, and her stylist gave us a special hairclipping memento to take home.
Next up was back-to-school shopping, the highlight of which (for all three of us) was lunch at Panera Bread:
We then had "rehearsal" day, in which all Gutsy Females rehearsed the morning routine. Mommy got up early and showered, fed the dogs, woke the kids, fed them breakfast, doled out medicine and vitamins, brushed hair and teeth, got everyone dressed, donned backpacks, and walked to the bus stop. (Jillson was disappointed that the walk was so short. The stop is one house down from us.)
We even practiced taking pictures:
That night, we got everything ready. We picked our outfits and laid them out. We discussed the morning timeline and what to do if at any point during the school day Jillson felt lost. Jillson declared she wanted to eat the school lunch, but bring special strawberry milk from home. We packed the backpacks. We bathed. We went to bed.
We (and by that I mean, of course, they) chattered away in bed out of pure excitement until 9:30pm.
And then, the big day came. This is the best smile I could get out of J, who was frustrated that I wouldn't let her run off to the bus stop right away. ("Moooooom, why do you need more pictures? You took pictures on rehearsal day!")
And then off she went.
There was a lot of time to play with our new neighborhood friends at the bus stop. (The bus was quite late. Apparently this is normal on the first day.)
Yes, I even remembered to hand the camera off. (Please note Jillson's expression. This is the face she makes in 99.9% of the photos I take. This is why I have to take 100 pictures of every event.)
And then that bus pulled away. Carrying my heart on it. My sweet, precious, kind, sensitive, stubborn, brooding, gung-ho, giggling kid. On that bus, going away from me. And from here on out, people, she will spend most of her waking hours with others. Not with her mom. Not with her family. How on earth did we get to this point?
Thankfully, we mommies had this little gang of younger siblings to amuse us still.