Grateful because that first day, he was a little quieter. He seemed to be reserving his thoughts for another time. In the morning, it was the nerves. I could tell by the things he didn't say.
But that same afternoon it was something else. His demeanor spoke in ways that his voice wouldn't. It was the way he examined his shoes and quickly made his way from the bus to the house. Happy, perhaps. Relieved, most certainly.
I was sad, because that one day last week isn't our routine. It's not the norm that we all enjoy... mom waiting to meet the bus, ready to absorb all of the information from the day that seems to tumble more freely from those happy-to-be-home lips. The dialog that can only occur in the quiet, unrequiring moments at snack time, before the demands of the evening routine take precedence.
In those quiet moments, everything seems right with the world. With everyone safe at home and the grumbling tummy satisfied for a few moments, things as magical and unusual as a nap can occur...
This is not my routine. No matter how much I wish it were, it is not. And so, I think I'll settle on grateful.
I'll be grateful that I was there for any small measure of comfort given to this new version of my biggest little person.
Grateful that he emerged safely from his first day at school, if a bit quieter than usual.