It was the last week of summer vacation before our granddaughter Kate started third grade and I asked her to go with me to Life Story Writing in Ela Township. You can write a story if you want to, I told her, when I issued the invitation. We're writing about "Third Grade." She said she would, but every time I asked how the writing was coming, she admitted that she hadn’t started it yet.
It was like watching myself in a miniature mirror as she furiously worked on her story in the car on the way to Lake Zurich. It also brought back memories of her father in whom the “just in time” gene has also made its way down the family tree.
When we got to class, she was almost finished and only had to recite the last few lines that she couldn’t quite get done on the ride out here. She wrote about learning to write in cursive and I will treasure forever the look of amazement on her face when we talked about the penmanship posters that I remembered from third grade illustrating the Palmer Method and Kate exclaimed, “We have the same thing!” It’s nice to know that with all the things that have changed over the last 54 years, some things did stay the same.
But after class and lunch was over, the real gift of the day was the impromptu trip to the neighborhood where I grew up to see my grammar school. Not exactly knowing what she was agreeing to, when she said she'd like to go, Kate asked about half way there "Did you have to take the highway to get to school, Guam?" (Guam is her special name for me that’s also been adopted by our grandsons, Wolf, Ben, and Heath) "No," I assured her, "We just need to take the highway to get to my neighborhood and then we’ll walk from my school to the house where I grew up."