The Edmond Sun

Columns

August 17, 2012

Back to school brings bonding opportunity

EDMOND — My almost-17-year-old granddaughter has been back home in Enid a week now, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. It was touch and go for a while ... but more about that later.

There’s a world of difference between outfitting boys for school and outfitting girls. On a good day, boys might stand still long enough to assure their moms that the new jeans fit and the slogans on their shirts wouldn’t get them expelled. Outfitting a girl is like playing dolls.

Aria arrived on Sunday. We ate, movied, visited and ate some more, and Tuesday we set off for Stein Mart to do some serious shopping. I found a comfy chair in the boutique and sat there for hours while she modeled dozens of outfits, several of which we took back to the house with us.

At some point in the trying-on process, it got so I hardly noticed my New Age granddaughter’s numerous piercings, the pink and purple streaks in her long, blond hair or her penchant for plunging décolletés. The child is polite, loving and beautiful, so what the hey? Go for it, I say ... though I still haven’t come to grips with her desire to have an owl tattooed on the bridge of one foot. A big owl. Promise me it’s not going to happen.

That afternoon we did the Spring Creek shopping area; Wednesday was spa day (hours of pampering to die for), and Thursday was a tea party for two at Inspirations. Friday we nixed going swimming and wrapped shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child instead. Good choice. It was too hot out there and we were both exhausted.

Now comes the scary part. Aria left Saturday morning promising to call when she got home, so I didn’t start worrying until after two hours had passed. Shades of déjà vu! Whether my long-ago teenaged sons were coming or going, when the time for their arrival drew near I paced the floor mulling over What Ifs ... willed my heart to beat normally ... strained to hear the phone ring or the crunch of tires in the driveway. I’m too old for that now.

When she finally did call, I’d have tattooed that owl on her foot myself if she’d asked. She had gotten lost detouring around I-35 construction and ended up in Hallet, where she phoned her Enid grandparents. They drove out to shepherd her home, during which drive she earned a hefty speeding ticket, which she’s covering with cash earned from her neighborhood flower garden weeding enterprise.

What’s not to admire in a girl like that?

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

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