Friday, August 25, 2017

Adventures with College Kids

As fate would have it, I have two grandchildren that are both rising seniors in college this year.  MVL is studying Architectural Engineering at the University of Oklahoma and BSJ is studying Digital Forensics and Computer Cryptography at the University of North Florida.

University of North Florida

University of Oklahoma

This summer both MVL and BSJ spent some time with us in Florida.  It was great to have them together. The also have always been close and great friends as they share many, many common interests.  And, I will just say it – they are both brainy nerds.  This is a compliment.

MVL was able to stay with us for almost two full weeks and BSJ was only here for 4 days.

MVL and I played 6 rounds of golf.  WAHOO!
This is one of my favorite photos of all time. BSJ and I were diving in the Bahamas. 

One day we sat down over lunch and talked about college graduation. Before I can tell you about our conversation, I need to give you some history.  When daughter BHB graduated from high school, my niece who lives in California also graduated from high school on the very same weekend.  My mom and dad flew the red eye from San Francisco to Washington DC so they could attend both graduations. WHEW!

Here the kids were searching for their graduation ceremony dates (and probably playing games as well) at our breakfast table.

When I started planning on my “graduation conversation” with MVL and BSJ I kept hoping that there would not be a conflict and we would not need to do any painful flights to be able to make both graduations.  BECAUSE we WOULD be at both graduations!

Thankfully BSJ’s graduation ceremony will be in Jacksonville, Florida on April 27 and MVL’s graduation ceremony will be in Norman, Oklahoma on May 12.

Both are going on to graduate school for their master’s degree.  BSJ will be working first before he starts his master’s but MVL will move right into the engineering program at OU.  She is already taking some classes that apply to her master’s degree.

This summer we had fun playing golf, visiting the beach, shopping for back to school, going to Orlando, eating at great restaurants and just hanging out catching on up the Game of Thrones TV series. We even worked in some dominos.  We can’t get together without playing at least one strategy game.

When we were going through the game boxes, we found these score cards from the past.  I am sure both kids were in elementary school.  Wow, what memories.
They are both back at school hitting the books, but I have some great memories of two super young people and how much fun they had with their grandmother.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The BIG TRUCK lunch box

Gotta give my daughter credit.

BHB purchased LW a GREAT new lunch box for his first day of school.  It is a "Big Truck" lunch box.  He was so proud heading off to his new school. (I am so very proud of what a great mom BHB is.)

It looks like she did a fantastic job for a great transition.  He cried - of course he is a two and half years old.  But he looks happy here.

I did not sleep well last night.  As I tossed and turned all night I couldn't figure out what was bothering me. Now I realize I was just worried.  But apparently there was no need.  BHB had it under control.

Today is starting off pretty good!

Cheers, Brenda
What a cute young man.-- new school uniform and a Big Truck lunch box to go along with it.  

My Last Responsibility

It is nice to be needed.  It is even better when someone needs you and you feel you did a great job of helping them.

Today has some very sad and a few happy feelings for me and how I have been helping my daughter.

Yesterday was the last day my daughter needed me to pick up LW at school for her.  He is starting a new school today (a very good school – this is a good thing) and I will no longer be needed to pick him up in the afternoon.

One side – I am extremely sad to not have this responsibility any longer.

Second side – I am happy he is going to a great school and my daughter will have the security of knowing she does not have to rely on me every single day.

Not that I am a security risk, I just am not always around to do it for her.

Every afternoon about 30 minutes prior to pick up time I would get a text, “Are you getting LW?” I am sure it was comforting to her when I replied that I was on my way.

When we moved to Florida from Bahrain, BHB decided to return to her work in a law firm.  She loves the work and a good firm presented it’s self close to where she lives.  However the Montessori school for LW has very limited hours and I would need to pick him up every day.

At first I was daunted by the responsibility and commitment. Would I remember every day (leave on time, have gas in the car and all that), would I be able to structure what ever I ended up doing around these hours, could I still take Hubby D to the airport and pick him up after his travels, would I be able to travel from time to time with Hubby D? My worries were for nothing.  It was easy and I fell into a routine rather quickly.

But yesterday was the last time I would be required to pick up LW and he starts in the new school today. Time flies when you are having fun.

Yesterday I tried taking a last picture of LW and myself in the room but the lighting did not work out too well.  We also tried to take a picture with LW’s best friend, however that was a disaster as we were standing next to the bookshelf and both boys instantly decided they wanted to read books.  The school has a great book about big trucks and LW really enjoys sharing it with me when I arrive to get him.

LW and I had a routine each day. After I signed him out, he would put on his cute little green turtle back pack and we would hunt for lizards on our way to the car. Generally we saw one or two every afternoon. One day we actually saw a large turtle and watched as it sauntered out of the parking lot into a pond area.

Some days pickup was easy and some days it was a challenge.  BHB complained that I let him explore too much and when she occasionally did pick him up (when I traveled) it took forever to make it to the car.  I actually liked that criticism.

I tried to make our last night together as much fun and special as I could. Once we were in the car I gave LW a special “Papa cookie.”  They are Oreo cookies that Hubby D loves and so does LW.

I was very lucky and it happened to be a night when BHB’s husband (LW’s dad) was traveling so she and LW stayed with me for dinner.  Hubby D was in Chicago so it was just the three of us.

LW and I spent time waiting on BHB to arrive playing in my kitchen courtyard with climbing toys we have for LW.

I cooked pizza for LW (his favorite) and great fish for BHB and myself.  We finished the meal off with homemade ice cream (LW and Hubby D’s favorite).

Take note of the cute cup.  It was Hubby D's cup when he was LW's age. It is so cute because LW looks just like Dennis the Menace as well.

Will I miss our safari into the bushes to hunt for “baby lizards”?

Will I miss the nightly trips to the school and the routine of getting LW to “jump” into his car seat and buckle up?

Will I miss hearing “Oma, BIG truck!” as we run down the highway?

Will I miss that sweet, cute, lovable, amazing smile when I tell LW that Papa (Hubby D) is waiting at home to play (which happened a few times)?

Will I miss handing my little snack bag back to LW in his car seat and hearing his squeal with delight for cookies?


More than you could ever possibly imagine.

One thing you can count on is that life goes on and things change.  Children grow up and babies become toddlers who become little people.

And, the joys of grand parenting grow with every change.  I have loved my responsibility but it is time to get this house remodel finished and move on to another challenge of my own.

I cannot believe this is only my second post for 2017.  I apologize but I was busy making sure I created that strong bond with LW.  :-)

Granddaughter ML is visiting and we are playing golf together today.  That is another wonderful and heart warming story.