Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be behind the wheel every time she came to Grandma's house...so much so that she would grab her Grandpa's hand and tug him toward the garage where there were wheels that seemed much more her size. Of course, being the push-over that Grandpa was for this little girl, she didn't have to tug very hard to get him to take her to the garage. She would climb in and out of the golf cart, twisting on the wheel, then look at Grandpa with those big, brown eyes and say "Go?" And, of course, go they did...her on his lap, loving the feel of wind in her hair.
Early on those rides became part of a family tradition, an exclusive breakfast club shared by just the two of them. Off they'd go to the cafe in the golf clubhouse for pancakes each morning the little girl was visiting. At first she sat on Grandpa's lap and helped him steer but as she grew, he moved to the side and left her behind the wheel.
She loved driving. Puddles on the cart path from rain or the irrigation? No problem...she'd plow through them at full speed, laughing at the big spray of water she'd made in the process. And when Grandpa let her get off the cart path, nothing was better than going up and down all the "lumps" that defined the edge of the fairway and challenged golfers. They weren't a challenge for her; she had the pedal to the medal.
The little girl turned 18 the other day...a how-can-this-be-true moment for her grandma and grandpa, but it is. And this less-than-spectacular photo doesn't do the glowing expression on her face justice but since I forgot the camera, this cellphone snapshot will have to do. The source of her grin is that she's standing in front of her new wheels. The little silver car wasn't intended as a birthday present; they've been looking for a good used car for her for several months now and found this one just a few days before the big birthday. It's the perfect starter car for a teen and should make life in that home a little less hectic.
We were there Saturday to celebrate with her and, in keeping with tradition, take her to dinner. Well...technically, she took us in her new little car but it was Grandpa's treat. We didn't drive through puddles at full speed or aim for every "lump" in the road but the look on her face was just the same. The girl loves her wheels...especially when they are really her wheels. Kayla has a car and she couldn't be more thrilled.