I took a deep breath, then got out of bed. I had dreamed about it all night long. I had dreamed that I wouldn't be able to take the girls because I didn't have any money, I dreamed that I would get into a car accident on the way there. I had been looking forward to this day for a really long time. I started getting dressed, hearing the rustling downstairs and the hushed, yet excited, whispers of, "It's our first day of preschool today, Claire!! C'mon, let's get dressed!" I smiled to myself as I walked out into the kitchen to start getting ready for the biggest day in my youngest girls' lives. So far, at least.
They came up the stairs, as fast as their little legs could carry them. Ah, the excitement of one's first ever day of school. Along came Audrey and Dallin, already plodding toward impending doom and barely into the third week of their new school year. Another little laugh out of me while I poured the Trix into the bowl and slowly watched the milk change from white to orange to pink. Emma and Claire downed their cereal before I even had a chance to finish making the PB and J sandwiches for Audrey and Dallin's lunch and were already ready to take the next step. "Mom, we have to take baths, right? Don't we? Huh?" I had to shoosh them so I could finish the lunches, tucking my little 'Mommy loves you, have a good day' note into the lunchbag and setting them on the counter.
"All right, come on. Time for baths." I had set out some cute outfits for them before they had bounded up the stairs and so those were ready to go. I swear the first day or two of school is the only day besides picture day that my children look somewhat good for school. After that, all bets are off. Today was no exception. The girls were fresh and clean, hair smelling like Pantene shampoo, every little nook and cranny scrubbed to a fresh shine. After we did their hair with cute matching bows and we had read scriptures, I sent the older two off for school, then got myself dressed. I was wearing scrub bottoms and an old T-shirt and tennis shoes, knowing that I was going to celebrate my newfound freedom today with a nice run in the perfect weather after the preschool train left the station.
When the time finally came for the kids to go, they put on their backpacks, all grins and bouncing, and stood at the door to take pictures. I was starting to get just as excited as they were. We drove to Miss Nicole's Preschool, the minutes passing like molasses to all of us. Emma was an old pro, but Claire was so excited, she couldn't even stand it. We pulled in front of the house and climbed out. We walked up to the front where Miss Nicole was waiting, taking pictures of the kids. Claire started walking up the stairs without even a wave, and I got a little choked up, I'll admit it. I had had a year's worth of practice leaving Emma for 2 hours every Tuesday and Thursday for a while now, but not my little Claire Bear. This was the end of an era for me! First no more diapers, then preschool! Soon, she'd be dating, then out of the house for good! I gave them each a kiss goodbye and watched them walk away, a little bit older than they had been that morning. No mother is ever ready for this day, but don't worry. I survived. It was a great first day of preschool!