BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — It was an emotional Tuesday morning for Lori Ferrall. She was sending her last child off to school for her first day of kindergarten and it was becoming hard to fight back the tears. So, she decided to mask them instead.
“She is a huge dinosaur fan,” said Ferrall during an interview at her job. “Molly just loved being able to have her mom dress up as a dinosaur and be sent off.”
Ferrell said she has a few life-size dinosaurs costumes lying around the house. She put one on, walked her daughter hand-in-hand to the bus stop and waited for the school bus to arrive. Fiver-year-old Molly smiled. Lori shed a few tears.
“I was just laughing so hard,” said Ferrall, who has two older daughters. “The smile on her face. It was just priceless.”
Molly had a picture taken of her holding her daughter’s hand while she was dressed in the dinosaur costume. She posted it on Facebook and within 24 hours it was shared over 100 times.
“We have so much fun with that costume,” said Ferrall who bought it for around $100 on Amazon. “We bring it with us to different places.”
Ferrall's taken it everywhere, she said, from the bookstore to other places around town. One year she wore it during her family’s Easter egg hunt. On a another occasion she wore it while riding a tricycle at her children's school’s Track and Field Day. When it came time to send her last child off, she put it on again.
“Always try to make things fun in any way,” said Ferrall about her mantra toward motherhood. “That’s just always been the personality for me is just to make anybody laugh.”
Molly loved it, Ferrall said. And she knew she would. Molly’s been studying dinosaurs since she was 2-years-old. Her older sister had a few books on it and Ferrall always caught Molly reading them. She’d study the different types of species, learning the scientific names and characteristics. Her room is decorated with pictures of dinosaurs just like the book bag she wore on the first day of school.
“She has an invisible friend who is a T-Rex,” said Ferrall. “He’s red and his name is Bob and he drives a motorcycle.”
The morning Ferrall dropped Molly off, she stayed at the bus stop. She waved at the other cars that drove by, hoping that she would brighten up another child and parents first day of school experience. It's what she had to do to brighten her own.
“I didn’t want to focus on the ‘oh my gosh, she’s leaving,’” said Ferrall. “It’s 'I’m going to make this fun. I’m gonna make her remember and have a story.'”