It seems that Bud was in better hands than I knew today.
I was not the only person in the family who spent the day in a panic. My husband, my parents, and I spent most of the day calling each other - how do you think it's going? what have you heard? here is the latest... We realized this morning that in Bud's almost 7 years he has never once spent six continuous hours away from the four of us. School days were half-days; babysitters were short-term. In his entire life, until today, Mom or Dad or Nana or Papa always appeared before four hours were up.
So today was difficult for all of us. My husband and I were at work, watching the clock and counting the seconds. My parents, suddenly under-employed, spent the day bumping into each other as they meandered through a strangely quiet house. And as they began to compare notes, they discovered that they'd each started the day in a similar way - by having a silent conversation with my grandfather, Pa, who died thirty-one years ago today, on my ninth birthday.
"I can't be with him today," my father said, "So I need you to be."
"Stay with him," my mother said, "And bring his siblings along for moral support."
It's really no wonder that Bud didn't need Gramps' hat on his head for his first day of first grade.
He already had Pa's hand on his shoulder.