First Bird Out… by JoAnn

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my first grandchild’s high school graduation. My granddaughter Randi graduated with honors and will be off to college in a few months. I could not be prouder of the beautiful young woman she has become, both inside and out.

Wait, did I just write “young woman”? I have to keep reminding myself that Randi is no longer the little girl I usually envision in my heart’s mind. Where did the time go? How did my granddaughter go from being my little “Pookie” to an adult by this world’s standards?

When my first, Randi’s mom, graduated high school, I don’t remember feeling this emotional. Oh yes, I was proud of our daughter! Robin was our first and our pride and joy for so many reasons. She still is, I am happy to say. One of which is being such a wonderful mom to my three grandkids. I remember Robin’s high school graduation as a celebratory time with family and friends and a highlight in her life. But I don’t remember being sad. Perhaps it was because she had two sisters in line behind her. I just remember my life being hectic at the time and Robin being my first little bird to leave the nest!

The multitude of emotions I am feeling with my granddaughter is like bees swarming around a honey hole! The first emotion is disbelief. Randi couldn’t possibly be this old. No way is she out of school for good. No way is she considered an adult now. And there is definitely no way she is going off on her own. Into the world, by herself? You must be crazy.

Maybe I’m the crazy one. Because when I think of my first grandchild, I still see that cute little face with huge brown eyes and even bigger dimples looking up at me. Yes, I watched her go off to her Senior prom, and yes, I have seen her driving her own car. But to me, she is still that little teddy bear-loving girl who requested I find her a Superman doll for Christmas. She used to make many requests of her Mamaw. A new bear, a baby doll, and all the action figures she could hoard. Yes, she loved both. Now she will be drawing those superheroes in her Art classes in college.

I know this is the normal order of a child’s life. And I am very thankful that I am here to witness and enjoy it with my family. Many grandparents do not have that privilege. I know I am very blessed.

I’m also very blessed to have the overwhelming memories with my granddaughter. They will remain in my mind & heart forever. And on days like this one, I will remember her at age 5, in the photo her mommy took of her on her first day of kindergarten. I’ll feel pride welling up until it makes a lump in my throat, and I will bid her farewell to college life.

Congratulations, Randi, on all that you have accomplished thus far. You have made us so proud. But what makes me happiest of all is that you are YOU. I love you the world full.

Always have, and always will.

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