This morning I took my almost-four-years-old grandson to school.
His parents are out of town and though he spent the night with his maternal grandparents they both leave for work very early. So, I had the pleasure of driving to their home at 4:30AM and being on hand when Tyler awoke around 7:00.
He was very pleased to see me.
Still wiping the sleep from his eyes he suddenly remembered that I would be here for him this morning. He flashed a drowsy grin and ran to me, bare feet slapping the wood floor, his favorite soft baby blanket slung over one arm. His arms went up as mine went down and I lifted him high over my head. We hugged and smiled as is our habit and standard greeting.
I guess he thinks I'm sort of special and for that great honor I know he is right.
At first I just sat on the couch and held him on my lap, allowing him to wake up gently.
I don't like brisk, lively beginnings to a day. I like slow, quiet starts and I think Tyler does, too. At least this morning he did. I held him in my big, bear-like grandpa arms and spoke to him softly.
"Did you sleep good?"
"Are you ready for a great day?"
We talked like that for maybe ten minutes, me asking leading questions designed to put him in a happy frame of mind, him responding affirmatively and with increasing animation. Finally, we decided it was time to get dressed and off to school with a stop at McDonalds for breakfast.
And that's the way my day began. No big deal and yet quite remarkable.
As I look back on nearly sixty years of life I am always amazed at how little of it I remember with any degree of detail or certainty. I remember the big things but not much of the ordinary and that just makes sense, really.
On a cold, dazzling-bright February morning Tyler and I ate eggs and sausage at McDonalds surrounded by old men in ballcaps sipping coffee and solving the world's problems.
He's not going to remember this.
I will never forget it.