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From babyhood to childhood

Editor's Note: This piece was inscribed in A.D. 1994, and is reprinted here for a very special person, her grandmother (Nana) Marie Gafford, who shares 12-year-old Savannah's second generation oversight with the MacGuire clan.

At one time I thought that going through the orientation process on entering college was a giant step forward in life.

Not so. It's a big step, all right, but not gigantic.

A far larger stride into this process we call "life" takes place at a much earlier age than comes with entrance into young adulthood.

This fact was brought home forcibly to this old fossil at an earlier date.

It was realized when I grasped the hand of my first grandchild and went through the paces of that final stage of true "freedom" a trusting little Savannah hopefully may recall and relish in years to come.

The steps we took together were simple, just another day of doing what comes naturally: going to the park, romping in the playground and sort of "following our noses."

We first went to the airport to see Airplane Mac, but he wasn't there, so we just talked to Kas, watched Billy Calhoun land his plane on the strip and stood in awe of the huge Doberman Pinscher guard dog in residence there.

From there we took a surreal trip through the countryside, to the gorgeous Cambrian Ridge layout and on to Sherling Lake Park.

Without a care in this world, Savannah slid through the chutes, swung on the swings and romped in the sand where she built imaginary air castles with the sand she "knew" came from the beaches at Gulf Shores.

It was a hot, happy sunny day, the kind you would order up for the final day of summer if you had your druthers.

But there was an unsounded note of finality about that late August day, a finality that may be likened to the end of a chapter.

Reality, sadly, now befalls my beautiful grandgirl who takes the first tentative steps into an organized, regimented lifestyle.

She is entering into a new environment, one made up of a social awareness where there awaits her a learning and manipulative skills process.

You see, Savannah, at age 4.5, has enrolled in kindergarten.