Can you stand another "kid goes to college" story?
Our oldest granddaughter, Katie, left for college yesterday. That sweet, little dark-haired girl her grandfather thought looked like a papoose (I suppose that's not PC) when she was born. No longer that little baby that Paul and I flew to Phoenix to see when she was just a week old. It just doesn't seem that long ago. Of course, everyone says that.
Over the last few years Katie has been spending time at our house. At first she would call and ask, "Can I come this weekend? Will you pick me up Friday, Grandpa?" She would stay one or two nights every few weeks. The grandkids can never get enough of Paul, and I knew he was the big draw back then. I didn't mind, I was just happy to know that she wanted to stay with us. It felt very special.
When she got her driver's license she started driving herself here. Same question "Can I come this weekend?" Our spare bedroom was always set up and it became her room; as in "Grandma, there are some clothes on my bed." That made me smile. We gave her a key to the house.
Paul and I have five grandchildren and there's nothing that makes me happier then seeing them in my house enjoying themselves and acting like they belong here. Because they do.
These are not grandchildren born of my children. They are the children of Paul's son and daughter, my stepdaughter and stepson. As much as I love Pam and Paul, they aren't my children. But the grandchildren.....they are mine. Well, mine and those of five other grandparents. As Pam said one time, you can never have too many grandparents.
When Katie graduated from high school a couple months ago I nearly missed it. When I stressed about it, a friend said " You see her every weekend," as in "What's the big deal?" And I replied "You don't understand. These are as close to my own children as it will get. I couldn't miss her graduation."
When Katie began driving up here on her own, she was 17. About that time she seemed to be spending as much time with me as she did with her grandfather. She'd keep me company in the kitchen or we'd do a little shopping together, and I began to see a change in Katie. She was becoming an adult.
I am often amazed by how insightful and thoughtful both Katie and her sister Madeleine, who is 15, are. During one stay Katie set up my iTunes on my computer. I was struggling with it. Suddenly I've become the grandparent who needs one of the kids to handle something technical. Never thought that would happen but I kind of like it.
Katie stayed one night this week; two nights before she was leaving for school. I didn't expect her to have time this week since she was so busy getting ready to leave, saying goodbye to friends and doing everything else she needed to do. I was really pleased when she said she was coming Tuesday.
The three of us had dinner and just watched television. It was a very normal visit. But I kept thinking that the next time Katie comes to stay (who knows how soon that will be) she will be home from college.
So tell me, where did the time go?