By T.J Simers
The 7-Eleven Kid turned 18 on 7-11, the Grocery Store Bagger’s first born, Mary my grandchild who is known by Mackenzie to her family and friends.
I have an 18-year-old grandchild and I’m still alive.
I texted her to tease her like I didn’t know you had to be 21, to say: “Now we can go to bars, Vegas and smoke pot together.”
She replied: “I’ve already been doing that, but I guess I can join you now.”
Love that kid. We spent many of her 18 years practicing basketball, or going to basketball games or watching video of Michael Jordan or Steph Curry. Her high school team won the 5A state championship a few months ago, and she blew away most 3-point records in the state of Arizona.
I mention that and she wants to talk Luke Combs.
When I was writing for the Times I used to write about the Bagger, who met the daughter in frozen foods. At some point I began to urge him to get it on with the daughter so we could have a grandkid. He listened, and I wasn’t surprised.
Now she’s going to college but will not play basketball because she wants to be a college kid enjoying herself. I’ve always believed the worst thing that can happen to a kid is getting a scholarship and then owing most college days to coaches instead of enjoying maybe some of the best days of their lives.
I wanted her to go to Notre Dame as our oldest daughter had done, but once she learned Dwyre went there, too, she had second thoughts. Maybe it was just a coincidence, or it was Dwyre.
She’s a photographer, working in a physical therapy office with an eye on becoming a nurse. Just in time to take care of an aging GP.
I don’t know how they did it, but the happy-sappy couple who happen to be the Bagger and our youngest daughter did a stupendous job raising her, although I wonder where she learned to be such a wiseacre. I guess my wife had to creep in there somewhere.
She went through a stage late in life where she did not want to hear my voice, would not answer my texted questions and thought she knew better on almost everything. Like I said, I guess my wife crept in there somewhere.
Oh, to be 18 again and about to start college. She can do anything, be anything and I wouldn’t suggest being a reporter.
She’s already a great kid on the cusp of being a great adult and I feel so fortunate to have lived long enough to be a witness to such a treasure. We’re close, but not-so-close that I would ever be seen at a Luke Combs’ concert.
It’s like the rule I had with all the grandkids growing up: GP doesn’t play. Or go on Disneyland rides. That’s why they have other relatives.
But talking to Mary on the way to so many basketball practices was magical. Not sure if she ever noticed me slowing down or taking a detour to prolong our time together. She liked me to interview as if she was a big-time athlete; later she would understand when the Times wanted to get rid of me because of the way I interviewed.
We talked Presidents, Civil War, Taylor Swift and Barbra Streisand. Well, I talked Barbra.
The first 18 have been wonderful.
I’m greedy. I want 18 more. And a chance to have similar experiences with her three sisters. I can think of no better goal.