May 1, 2021
And just like that…he’s in high school!
It seems like yesterday when I was asked to write my first Hip Grannie column for Nola Family magazine. Our first grandchild was on the way, and I was trying to imagine my life as a grandmother. That was a mere 14 years ago, and yes, it seems like a blink.
I knew I wanted to play an active role in our grandchild’s life, to be the kind of grandmother who would be happy to slide down the steepest slide head first at Danneel Park, if it put a smile on my grandson’s face. Yes, I wanted to be goofy and fun and maybe even a little hip, although that might have been a stretch. I wanted to drive a carpool when needed and have our grandchildren’s birthday parties in our backyard. I wanted to know my grandchildren and, for better or worse, for them to know me.
I also did not think it would all go by this fast.
It seems like yesterday when I would walk on to the school ground and Rylan and his posse of friends would run over and hug me and call me Lollie. Now I barely get a quick two fingered peace sign and a nod when he sees me. That once cute little guy is my height, has a deep, rich masculine voice and fuzz growing on his face. Fuzz!
In a few weeks Rylan will graduate from St. George’s, his beloved school for all his life. He started there at age 12 months in daycare while mom Tamara was the school counselor. St. G’s has been his home-away-from-home for 13 of his 14 years.
In this Covid age, graduation will be socially distant and masked, I’m sure. But I’ll know Rylan the minute he walks down the aisle. He’ll be the confident, tall-ish brunette proudly looking toward his future. I’ll be the blubbering mess of a grandmother wondering where all the time went. I cry easily, especially at graduations. Or weddings. Or funerals. Or even some television commercials. Note to Rylan’s little sister Amelia: bring Kleenex.
The other day Rylan came over to our house, sporting a fancy sweatshirt with his new school logo emblazoned on the front. He suddenly looked older to me. Can a school sweatshirt do that to a kid? When our kids were looking at colleges, one advisor told us that kids usually pick the right school for the wrong reason. He cited a student who graduated from college and told his parents, “It was a great four years, especially considering the fact that I picked the school because it had the best looking girls and the best pizza.”
So, I was curious about Rylan’s decision and asked how he chose his high school. He thought for a minute and said, “I really like the school’s athletics and academics. It seemed like a good fit.” How mature is that? “Are you sure you’re only 14?” I thought.
In case you are wondering, Rylan will be attending Isidore Newman School, the same school his father attended for 13 years and where his grandfather was chairman of the board. He hopes to play football and soccer, just like his dad. None of this, of course, came as a surprise to any of us. It just happened a whole lot faster than we ever expected.
Laura Claverie is Nola Family’s Hip Grannie. She is a local mother, grandmother, and writer.