This past weekend I attended my second grandchild and second grand girl’s engagement party. She is the first of my 10 grandchildren to become engaged. I know many of you grandparents will understand that when I ask, ‘Where did the time go???’ it’s really my heart that’s asking, not my head.
I sat at the opposite end of the table from my sweet Georgia and I remember being there when she went from an infant to a toddler, then from a little girl to teenager but the grown woman she has become just snuck upon me. All I could think about were those weekends she stayed with us in Bedias but talking about it to the degree I was thinking about it wouldn’t be fair to this smart, funny, beautiful accomplished young woman about to start her own family tree with an equally smart, funny, handsome accomplished young man.
About five years ago when Georgia’s older sister, my first grandchild, graduated from college I shared my feelings in a column about this milestone in both of our lives. When they were babies and little girls, I couldn’t imagine them being grown. Heck, I couldn’t imagine my own children grown up and I sure couldn’t imagine being the age I am now or how my own life would change.
I proposed then that God deliberately didn’t give us the ability to see into the future because what we might see could be so painful, we wouldn’t be able to move forward. We couldn’t possibly comprehend the coping mechanisms and strength that would come with age and maturity.
Sitting there across from Georgia, I know I felt the past more acutely than she did, and rightly so. She has as much future before her as I have past behind me. That is how the cycle of life works. I cherish particular moments with each of my grandchildren because from my vantage point on the timeline of life, I understand these moments are gifts. I don’t believe they see it from the same perspective but that may be part of the grand plan as well.
The memory which kept replaying in my mind was when Georgia was about six. She loved rice and she loved horses! I had been teaching the girls to sew so I planned this grand Saturday for us – a trip to the Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild quilt show, lunch at a Chinese buffet and girl’s barrel racing at the fairgrounds after supper.
But on the way back to Bedias, the ‘empty’ light came on in my car. Georgia inherited my panic gene, and she was scared. Trying not to panic myself, we said a prayer and ‘Meemaw’ made the right decision to turn back instead of going forward, we gassed up and made it home safely. My grand girl was so tired from our big adventure that our night at the fairgrounds ended early, and she slept all the way home.
And that, my friends, is what I thought about sitting across from this lovely young woman and bride-to-be – that wonderful day long ago and the immense responsibility I had for her well-being.
In that previous column mentioned above, I talked about how my children were my universe and when they grew up, I became a mere satellite in theirs. I am one generation further removed from Georgia so not sure where I fit in her and Jack’s planetary site plan. One day she will understand that memories are an occupational hazard of ‘grandmotherhood' – there for the beginning but not the ending.
Perhaps my personalization of this quote from an unknown author can express what it’s even hard for me to write – “Dear Georgia, you may outgrow my lap but you will never outgrow my heart.”
The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Connie Clements. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner.
Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and an award-winning columnist.