Pundit and M Play with Cars
Pundit almost always comes onto my girls’ bed for the bed-time story. But at lights out he leaves with me. The other night, I put my older daughter Z to bed first because she was exhausted while the younger had napped in the afternoon, and closed the bedroom door behind me. When I brought my other daughter S to the bedroom half an hour later, we almost tripped over Pundit, who was inexplicably lying in the hall right in front of the closed door. I opened the door to find Z sobbing over a school-related anxiety. Pundit immediately hopped up on the bottom of her bed and went to sleep. And he stayed there for the rest of the night. He’d known she needed comforting while I, busy with the other kids, had had no idea.
For so many years, back when we also had Ubi, Pundit was the light-weight. Sure he was fun—he’d play ball until his tongue was hanging a foot out of his mouth and still never stop first, he’d jump into the coldest water, he’d leap into the woods as if he’d caught a whiff of wild animal and come back with a tennis ball in his mouth. We almost never had to buy balls because he’d find one wherever we went. On the day each of our three children came home from the hospital, Pundit walked up to the blanket on the floor where the new baby lay and dropped a tennis ball so that it rolled right up to their tiny infant head. But when one of us needed comforting, when the house was turbulent, and peace needed to be restored—that was Ubi’s job. Ubi was our devoted companion—she didn’t like to take walks without us—whereas Pundit would run off with whoever called him. When we returned from being away, Ubi would leap and whinny and when she was done with that, rub herself around our legs like a cat, while Pundit, after an initial greeting, would go back to whatever it was he was doing before.
But as Ubi’s strength faded, Pundit’s focus turned more to the family. I always called Ubi our nurse, but when I was pregnant with my third child and really sick during the first trimester, Pundit would lay with me in the bed and press his warm body into my belly—at times that was the only thing that lifted the nausea enough to let me sleep. Pundit’s physical abilities are not what they once were, but what he gives us now is more valuable. He has aged with us and evolved as we have needed him to.