It came as a shock to me, after 17 years of loyal and devoted service, to be dismissed. The words stung.
My granddaughter waved her driver’s license in the air. Seventeen years earlier I’d committed to the job of “Grandma,” thereafter planting myself day after day outside the front door of school waiting for her to come out. “How was your day?” I automatically threw out at her, really interested.

On sunny days we’d head straight for the playground where I immediately lost her among the throng of other 6-year-olds with red coats, each of us knowing the other was nearby. We had the routine down pat.

In earlier years she’d descend the steps of the little yellow school bus at noon. As her mother arrived home from school at 3:30 or so, that left us 3-and-a-half hours together. I think of some of the zany things we did in that time:

I remember her removing every book from her dollhouse bookcase, creating a huge pile on the floor, then sitting atop of the pile like a queen of books. After that we’d proceed to read through the pile, one book at a time, timelessly, the two of us thoroughly immersed in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar or the poetry of Shel Silverstein.

At other times the living room couch pillows, blankets, and sheets were transformed, built into a safe cave in which to hide, escape from the real world. When “kitten” and I were invited along, the three of us spent cozy time in Dani’s manmade cave.

Then there was the construction of the giant spider web made of yarn. Dani would stretch it from one end of the living room, diagonally across to the other. The intricate webbing, the kitten dancing in its midst….Great fun on any rainy day!

Dani transformed the kitchen into a stage, taking flying leaps across the open space with me as her audience. She placed one chair for that purpose, facing the dance floor. On went The Nutcracker music: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,” and up went Dani – flying across the room, straight toward the refrigerator…Watch out!

No gym could be better exercise.

Other times I was down on all fours… The race of the Tortoise and the Hare was on! Dada, dada, dada, dada… The hare was off and running! Then, “Yawn, I think I’ll stop for a rest,” said the hare, cocky, sure he’d win. Well, we all know he didn’t! We laughed and laughed!

Then mom would arrive home, our time together over for the day. “See you tomorrow”, I’d wave…

Our times together morphed into talks on the ride home from school, about friends, life, the world. Or we rode in silence, as needed. We had days, and memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. But now they had ended. Like a “Not Needed” old wooden sign nailed to a shut door.

But really, I knew. This is one time being fired was fine! I’m proud to see her move on, wanting to be a doctor, taking her first step. Alone…

We had days, and memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. But now they had ended. Like a “Not needed” old wooden sign nailed to a shut door.

…A Firing, An Ending, But For Both Of Us Knowing, The World Is Our Oyster.