I couldn't decide on which title to use, so I used both. I could have just called it The blog post with two names.
Anyway, here are the pictures.
Gilbert started school.
There, that was quite calm and normal. But inside, I am being overly dramatic and slightly hysterical. Have I prepared him well enough for this? How can you ever know?
But I am pretty sure that I haven't prepared him enough. Because... well, I just know me. I never prepare. Last night I was running around the house, wondering which frightfully logical and clever place I had stashed his new sneakers. And comforting myself with the thought that he will feel uniquely cool when he is the only kid with brand new sneakers on October 3, which is when I figured I would finally come across them, tucked underneath my great-aunts china in the sideboard. Thankfully, I unearthed them, after only 20 minutes, and 5 rubbermaids, the top of the armoire, underneath the chair in my room, and the nooks and crannies under my bed had been thoroughly looked through and disorganized. And there they were, in the clothes/footwear-for-fall box I had packed carefully away in the closet on top of their dresser. Which was a pretty logical place actually.
Orianna's new backpack that I ordered when there was a good sale at LL Bean while she was in kindergarten (3 and a half years ago) is still missing in action. It is no longer packed in her to-grow-into rubbermaid, where it has cozily resided with the cute rain boots I bought from Boden, four sizes too big (they were $10) and a dress that still doesn't fit her, two years later. I am quite sure that I remember myself standing amidst rubbermaids this spring, deciding to move it to a "more logical" spot for easy finding this fall. Famous last words. Sigh.
So if I can't manage sneakers and a bookbag, I feel sure that I couldn't have prepared him well enough for this. But I wish I had. And I hope that what I have done will be enough.
I just love Gilbert gently giving Elsie a goodbye in this picture. Elsie was mostly asleep. And so far, having everything to herself is making up for the lack of siblings. But I think she will be pretty excited to see that bus roll around this afternoon. And next week, after the novelty has worn off, she might be lonesome.
The girls were very careful with Gilbert, telling him how to climb on the bus and hold the railing, and to make sure to always say "hello" to the bus driver.
(I am not sure how I feel about high tops. The girls fell in love with these lacey inset hightops and since they were around $15 at the time and had a good name, I let them. But I think I like the look of their converse better. And I think I need to get them taller socks. Shouldn't you see socks above high tops?)
The bus driver was excited to see Gilbert, who has waved at her from the steps for the past two years that she has had this run.
And despite my best intentions, I cried. And there were cars after the bus and I didn't want them to see my crying face, so I took a few crooked pictures of the bus driving away. With my babies!
Now, about the Calvary arriving. I have been in a funk all week. My house is still a mess. In case any of you were keeping track. I haven't been able to make myself get going. I think it was partially, I thought if I just left it messy, school might not start and I wouldn't have to be deprived of my dear children. (Actually, they have been fighting like crazy these past two weeks, so school is probably a good thing) Anyway, yesterday afternoon, the eyecare place called to say Gilbert's new glasses were in. So we hurried in and got new glasses and returned books to the library. And then the girls asked if we could go to Bokies, the pink diner in town. And I decided maybe I could redeem myself and instead of remembering a messy house and disorganized mother before they started the 2015-2016 school year, they could remember a Mommy who takes them for ice cream and french fries. So we went there. And then went grocery shopping. We got home around 6:25, on a Wednesday. We needed to leave for meeting in less than an hour and I was completely exhausted and felt like the kids were dancing a tango on my very last shred of a nerve. I stood there contemplating groceries that needed carrying in, and suddenly, there was Justin. Driving down the road to my rescue. I have a poor memory, but I really don't think I have ever been so happy to see anyone in all my born days. Pandemonium ensued, with kids bursting with joy at Daddy being home so unexpectedly and me trying not to cry because it is so hard to stop once you begin. And in short order, the kids were in the bath, the groceries in and put away, and I was picking up the kids room (the thing that worried me the most) while, unbeknownst to me, Justin got the sheets off the line and made our bed.
Awhile ago, I wrote a post about some friends of ours breaking up a 30 year marriage and I said in that post that I wanted to remember all the nice things that Justin has done for me so that, if the time ever came that I was sick and tired of him, I could remember all the love and care through the years. Our marriage isn't better than everyone else's. I frequently get annoyed and he gets annoyed right back at me. But these moments of grace--small things really, helping me with groceries, helping with the kids, making the bed, make it all worthwhile. He drove three hours home in the middle of the week because he wanted to see Gilbert off to school and he didn't want me to have to send him off alone. Because he knew how hard it would be for me.
And if that isn't love....