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Dear Readers,

I know all of you grandmothers will be able to relate to this story. Just a tiny time ago, I held my first grandchild in my arms. He was beautiful beyond words. I thought, prior to his birth, that I might not be a real attached grandmother.

Remembering back to when my own children were little, I remembered being so bogged down, taxed, tired, and uncertain about everything. Amazingly enough, when my grandson, Clay, was born, it was like the second coming. The scary thing is…it seems like only a few years ago. He is now sixteen. How can it be?

I had the privilege of sending him to Paris (yep, in France) for his sixteenth birthday. He went on the Dwight D. Eisenhower’s People to People program. He was at the Eiffel Tower when his birthday arrived. He was gone three weeks, and was able to see places the rest of us only dream of. He told me recently that he fell asleep in the gondola while gliding through the canals of Venice. Don’t think that I didn’t want to strangle him for missing one moment of that experience. But, being sixteen, I can see him gazing up at the sky and hearing the call of one gondola rower to another at the canal intersections, and experiencing it anyway.

Once in a while he brings up one thing or another. He told me that the other day the teacher was talking about the statue of David. I asked him if he told her he had seen it, and of course he didn’t. His favorite part of the journey was going to Malta. I had never even heard of Malta and had to look it up on the map. He could see clear to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He said it was the clearest body of water he had ever seen. He saw famous paintings, and was surprised at how small some were. Just as surprised was he at how huge others were. I am glad he saw the Pieta. It is stunning to see it in person.

He is young but he has had experiences that will last him a lifetime. A lifetime…that’s what is worrisome. At sixteen it means driving. Driving means possible disaster. It is a scary time for a grandmother who remembers doing a U-turn in front of the Clyde Theatre on Bluffton Road the first time I ever drove without my dad at my side. My girlfriends still remind me of it.

Clay is so fresh and on the brink of manhood. I wish so much for him. I keep my fears at bay as best I can and pray for his safety through this tumultuous time of his life. He is my sweet baby, no matter how old he gets.

I have had a picture taken of us each year in the fall. As you can see, I was a little delayed this year and the leaves are gone. I planted the tree behind us when he was born. He is a beautiful child…or young man, I guess. May his guardian angel protect him. I love him.

I know all the other grandmothers know exactly how it feels, to see your firstborn grandchild standing on the brink with his whole life ahead of him.

Bless all our children and grandchildren, and may they be safe each day and live to be 100.


Happy Fall, my Waynedale friends,


Mae Julian

The Waynedale News Staff
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