Friday, August 27, 2010

Where Does the Time Go

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?


"Cottage By The Sea" said...

It's bittersweet when they go away to college. I've cried lots of tears over that one but lots of happy tears when they come home. Can't wait to hear about Katie's adventures, congratulations!

Laoch of Chicago said...

This is nice. No doubt such a fine girl will flourish in college. Good wishes to her.

Turquoise Diaries said...

You are such a lucky grandma..I love this post..

Pam said...

Where does the time go, indeed! And I agree with Dad, she did look like papoose when she was born. I actually thought they brought me the wrong baby in the hospital. Why was the nurse handing me this Native American baby? Too cute!

Michele said...

I remember how hard it was to send my kids off to school; I'm not sure how I'll do when it comes time for grandchildren to go. Then again, if my kids don't get on the stick and give me some grandchildren I may be dead by the time those said grandchildren go off to college.

Debby said...

You are blessed and you know how much you are loved when they want to stay at your house. I wish I had one! I pretty much live through my sister's grandchildren who are now going to HS this year.
They however are in Florida so I don't see them that often. It's been nice seeing you post.

~Kristen~ said...

Yes, you and Paul are blessed to have wonderful grandchildren but they are blessed to have you both, too!!! There is nothing like Grandma's and Grandpa's!!! I miss mine terribly.

Jeanie said...

Boy, this rings a bell! It was hard to say goodbye to Greg and then Kevin, too. I have to say, for Kevin especially, he came back a different person -- and in a good way. (Talk about non-communicative teen boy before and articulate engaged soul after!)

You're going to miss Katie, but oh -- what experiences you'll have to look forward to!

Debbie said...

It makes me smile to think of that precious girl spending time with you before she goes. I hope you get to see her soon.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How wonderful that you had that time together all these years - and that she wanted to be there. A good sign that your relationship will grow, college or not. Such a fine post.


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