Each year, every living person gets to have that one day that is their own special day, their birthday…right? Well, not exactly. While that is true for most people, for those people who were born on Leap Day, three out of four birthdays pass in just the twinkling of an eye…in a mere nano-second…that fraction of a second between February 28th and March 1st. February 29th doesn’t exist except every four years, and yet I know that my granddaughter’s birthday must exist each year, because I was there eighteen years ago when she made her grand entrance into this world. Now we have arrived these eighteen years later, at the first nano-birthday where she is unofficially an adult. The fact that she will graduate from high school this year means she must be an adult, and yet officially, she is only 4 1/2 years old, so how can it be that she is now an adult. Nevertheless, she is, and as her grandmother, I couldn’t be more stunned if I tried.
Looking back on the years that have gone by, at her transformation from infant, to toddler, to adolescent, to teenager, and now to adult, all I can say is how can this be? Before me now, stands a beautiful young woman, who is ready in every way to start making her own decisions about where her life will take her, but to me, she will always be that little teeny girl who stole our hearts away when she became our first and only granddaughter. From the first time she wanted me to paint her fingernails, to the times she has told me that my nails were “a meth, and I had better fixth them”, I knew she was a true Girly Girl. Her dimpled smile lit up a room, and her giggle was contagious, and all three of the grandsons knew from the start, that Shai was the boss. They weren’t sure why that was, but then what man does understand why those girls have a princess attitude, that always seems to end up with them getting their way.
As the years have passed, I have watched her grow into a graceful, charming girl, who really isn’t one bit ditsy, even if her sense of humor makes her seem so sometimes. She is a capable, responsible worker, who is loved by everyone she works with. She still isn’t sure what she wants to do as a career, but she is going to go to college anyway, and get her basics done, while she decides what really interests her. Her years have seen her in a variety of work, and that tells me that she could do anything she would choose. She has done child care, nursing, elder care, food service, and customer service work in my office…and she did very well at all of them, so when she decides what she wants to do, she will excel at it for sure.
Shai, you have made your grandma and papa so very proud over the years, and truly the only disappointment we have is that you have grown up so fast. I have often said that people need to spend as much time with their children and grandchildren as they can, because in the twinkling of an eye, those childhood days are gone. The reality is that while I still believe time spent is the single most important thing you can do for your child or grandchild, I also know that even then, it is not enough. That twinkling of the eye happens quickly no matter what. Today is my lovely granddaughter, Shai’s 18th birthday or is it 4 1/2? No matter, happy birthday Shai!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you so very much!!