Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In a moment

 My granddaughter has gained acceptance into the National Junior Honor Society. I couldn't be prouder. The wife and I agreed to buy her a new dress for her acceptance ceremony. As it turned out I wound up taking her to Kohls and my wife was unable to come along. So, it was just Morgan and Grandpa. When we got to the store she jumps out of the car and heads for the door. I can't explain why but when I saw her taking those long strides of hers, and her hair flying in the breeze, I knew I wasn't taking a child to buy a dress, I was taking a young lady. The child was still there, it was in evidence by her excitement, but somehow she had grown in that moment. I quickened by pace to catch up. We entered the store and she went directly to the dress department. I lingered there for a minute and Morgan says, you can look around Grandpa, it's kinda creepy. I knew instantly what she meant and had to agree. It was creepy, an old man hanging out in the woman's clothing department, following a young girl around. I headed for the back of the store and browsed at electronics and home décor.
 This being 2016 and all Morgan had her phone with her. She sends me a text saying she is trying on dresses. Oh, okay. After a bit I wander up to the dressing area to see if I can locate her. There are two store employees, both young ladies, stocking and straightening the clothing. As I linger around the dressing room I'm getting looks. I don't blame them, I felt a little strange and I'm certain they did as well. I don't see Morgan and it is getting uncomfortable. I'm getting guarded glances from the employees. Then our eyes meet. I immediately begin to explain that I'm just an old Grandpa and have a granddaughter here. She is supposed to be trying on dresses. I am told that the juvenile section and subsequent dressing rooms are in a different location. I take their directions, with many thanks, and get out of there. I'm going back to the electronics !
 Eventually I get another text message that she is ready. I meet up with her and she shows me her choices. I ask if she has tried them on and get that look. You know the one, like, I'm no kid, of course I tried the clothes on. And then, oh, I got matching shoes and a necklace. I'm like, oh okay I guess so. As she checks out she gives me her Kohls cash. It was ten dollars. Hey, that's great, happy to see you being responsible and contributing. She explains that will pay for the necklace. The cashier gives me a look like, Grandpa has been taken to the bank. In the final transaction Morgan receives 15 dollars in Kohls cash, which she keeps for herself ! I'm beginning to understand. She really isn't a child anymore.
 It was an awakening little trip for me. I wasn't out with my " little " granddaughter. I was with , gasp, a " teenager ! " I have become just the driver. I don't blame her it was an awkward situation. She didn't mind me paying, just don't stand too close. On the ride home she is busy just talking away, as teenagers do, about her new outfit. She is telling about being so nervous in front of people and all that. She has a presentation to give at school today about Civil Defense in the 1940's. Did I mention we also had to buy a dress for that ? So we talk about Civil Defense and I'm telling her about the air raid drills we had in school when I was a kid. I tell her about the " red " scare. She is taking notes about this to use in this presentation. What, you haven't completed it yet ? She says no, I have to present an argument as well. After talking a bit she decides to go with the argument that in reality the Civil Defense program was more of a propaganda tool than an actual defense. She understands that hiding under a desk isn't going to save you from a nuclear bomb ! She had read about Chernobyl in history class and so knew about radiation. She finishes the conversation with a request. If you come to the induction ceremony for Honor Society don't wear the new hat you bought a few days ago. And with that I know, the little girl is gone, replaced by a teenage girl worried about appearances. Insecurity I suppose. I understand that. I feel a little touch of sadness, mixed with pride, followed by amusement. Strange how they seem to grow, in a moment, and it is never the same again.