On the first morning, when the bus wasn't yet in its groove, I let the girls walk to the stop by themselves and I drove in the van. (I drove so that if the bus hadn't come by a particular time I could easily drive them to school and get them there before the bell rang.)
I thought nothing of letting them walk. We catch the bus at the end of the road, and I'd be within a few yards of them the entire time. No big deal, or so I thought.
As I drove past the girls I slowed down and gave them a big wave. Both girls turned and looked at me. Their faces beamed with pride! Each one wore an incredible smile and looked so delighted with herself and with life.
I waited for them at the stop. By they time the arrived at the stop, they appeared taller and more mature than when we left the house. I had expected a bit of tomfoolery, but no, they were all business that morning.
I'd heard from O's mom later that at the end of that day, talk of the walk dominated the conversation.
I wish I'd had my camera to capture that magical moment of independence, pride and smiles.