Watching a high school football game, it was hard to fathom how much time had passed since I was in the middle of all the excitement. Students, cheerleaders, dance crew, players and parents crowded the bleachers to cheer a victory. I couldn’t help but think of all the years I had the privilege of doing the job I love the most: being a mom, and now, even better, a grandmother.
I’ve come full circle and now watch the eldest granddaughter as part of the dance team; I don’t care what the football team does. Sitting several rows back and trying to take photos, I wondered why those coming and going couldn’t understand that they were in my way. Between the bars of the bleachers and the passers-by, I spent a large part of the time being frustrated. I would have gone down in front to take pictures, but I didn’t want to embarrass her by being “that grandmother”.
The granddaughter will be 16 next month. I don’t worry about her ability to make good decisions, but there are a lot of bad people out there, and I’m not ready for this constant worry about what she’s doing, where she is, and who she’s with. she drags. I’m sure his parents will do most of the worrying for me, but I still can’t help it.
Once they start driving, it’s hard to keep up with them — until now, with this new app called Life360. It’s a game changer. Not only does it track where the child is, it can also tell you how fast the vehicle is going. My parents would have had a heart attack if they could have seen my speedometer online. The granddaughter will surely have more common sense than me at that age.
It happened so fast. It seems like just yesterday we were playing with dolls for hours, and now she’s in high school getting ready to drive. Every time I see her, I have to stop myself from saying the same thing: “I can’t believe how tall/pretty/talented/mature you have become.”
Even though my role as a grandmother doesn’t include watching the 360 app (unfortunately), I’m still going to wonder and worry. Would I sound like a crazy woman if I called the parents or texted the granddaughter every Friday night and asked for the weekend schedule? If I didn’t ask, I could convince myself that she was staying home watching movies with her parents, and I could at least sleep at night.
Turning 16 is a magical time and her life is now going to get even busier. It’s not a bribe (OK, maybe it is), but I’ll let her know whenever she needs gas money, just come for a little visit. It could be a win-win situation for all of us. She gets gas money, and we have time.
Sandy Turner is a mother, grandmother, former babysitter, and retired journalist living in Missouri who writes a weekly column about home, family relationships, and staying positive during tough times.