At the beginning of summer (the beginning of my retirement!), I made a commitment to myself to take 7 of my grandchildren golfing, one at a time, throughout the summer. When I realized last week that school starts next week and I still had 3 kids who hadn't gotten out there, I did some fast calendaring and scheduled 3 days in a row for golf this week. Hopefully the weather will hold!
Today, was Megan's day. She's our oldest grandchild. 16, soon to be 17. When she was 13, we cited her age as "13, going on 40." I'm happy to report she has grown back into her own age. What a delight.
Megan is a junior in high school, a varsity football cheerleader for the second year, and a good student, although you wouldn't peg her as a nerd who does nothing but study. School must come easily to her, since she doesn't walk around with her nose in her books, and yet she consistently makes the honor roll (or whatever it is they call it these days). A few weeks ago, she got her driver's license (the subject of an earlier blog posting), and so this morning, she was able to drive herself to our house, rather than my having to pick her up. Easy for me, but not as much fun as when we used to have a whole trip to visit and share our hopes, dreams and silly experiences.
We had another gorgeous day. I swear the golf God has orchestrated this entire summer experience for me. Every one of my "grandchild golf days" has been picture perfect. Heading out on Golf Day #5, the perfect weather gave me cause to be grateful ... grateful for the day, the weather, the wonderful grandchildren I have, the marvelous experiences we've shared with Megan and all of our grandchildren.
It also gave me cause to be a bit maudlin about how fast these 17 years have flown and made me wonder what the next 17 might be like. I remember so well the day Megan was born. This little peanut with the red hair and the big blue eyes, that would eventually turn to green. We had no clue what to expect as grandparents, but we sure didn't expect the overwhelming feeling of "first love" that filled both my husband and I the first time we held her.
I couldn't help but notice today how beautiful she is. A lot of this is natural beauty, but she also has learned how to apply make-up with a lighter hand. Was it just a couple of years ago that the eyeliner was so thick that you couldn't tell if there were eyelashes under there? The beautiful red hair was covered with brown dye to avoid the teasing from the kids at school. Now that brown dye is fading and she is proud of the beautiful red that is once more starting to peek through. She talked of her senior pictures to be taken next summer and how she wants her hair to be its natural color for those pictures so that she won't regret them years from now. When did she become so wise?
A year from now, she will be getting ready for her senior year in high school and a year after that, she'll probably already have left for college. That fills me with sadness on the one hand and joy on the other .... what a great job her mom has done raising her and what a "good" person Megan has become.
We had a blast golfing. She outdrove me several times ... and that's as it should be. Her natural strength and enthusiasm came through in her golf swing. There was no hesitation or worry about how she looked ... was her left arm straight .. did she keep her head down .. did she follow through? She just swung and hit the ball. When she whiffed (a couple of times), a refreshing "Oh boy" would come out of her mouth. Having heard the way some of today's youth talk, I was tickled with this old-fashioned, honest expression.
As with the others, we followed our 9 holes on the course with lunch. When she ordered an "Arnie Palmer" it cracked me up ... just a few years ago, she was trying her wings by ordering a "Virgin Daquiri," and now she's morphed into a more appropriate drink ... and one that is commensurate with the game we were playing. Her clubhouse sandwich, "hold the tomatoes, please," was further proof that she was a young lady who knows her own mind. One that I am proud to call granddaughter ... even if she did outdrive me on those holes today.
Thanks, Megan, for a good round of golf and for 17 years of enjoyment. I'm eager to see what the next 17 bring.