Most of the grandmas I know adore their grandkids. When my children where young, my mother carried in her purse a little photo album with gold letters on the front that read, “Grandma’s Brag Book.” And that she did. Whenever she was with friends who had not yet seen her grandchildren, out came the little book for a brag session.
This and all of the special things my mother did for her ten grandchildren created the model that I think of when I think of a remarkable grandma. But a little over two years ago, my sister became a grandmother, and she has taken the role of grandma to a whole new level.
While most of us grandmas frequent Borders and Barnes & Noble to find the latest children’s stories and their accompanying stuffed representations of the characters, that isn’t good enough for Sis. She, herself, had to become the author/illustrator/photographer in order for the book to be special enough for Carter, her handsome little grandson.
The first step in my sister’s writing career was to enroll in a class to learn to write Children’s Fiction. The expectation for this class was that students produce an age-appropriate book and have it ready for publication within a specified time frame. It was at this stage in her new career that shades of the past crept into Sis’s thinking as she recalled what it was about college instructors that made her crazy.
As Sis attended classes, I received regular updates from her on the progress of the book. I heard about the frustrations of learning to draw illustrations, the challenges of taking and choosing photographs of Carter that exactly pictured the message of the text, and the aggravations related to page layouts.
After several months, the new book was complete and Sis’s creation went to press. Then, on Valentine’s Day, her book was presented to her special little Valentine. On the title page was the picture of a beautiful red apple that was taken during a fall trip to an orchard, along with the words, “O-Shaped Apples and Other Round Things, by Grandma Ilene.”
Capitalizing on her grandson’s knowledge of letters and his special fascination with the letter, “O,” Sis created a delightful story about Carter exploring his world and finding o-shapes everywhere from the hole in his donut to the wheels on a big red fire truck.
So hat’s off to Sis for earning the title, “Super-Grandma,” and for becoming the star student in her fiction writing class. (The instructor now uses her book as a model for his incoming students.)
On page 3 of Carter’s book, he has just discovered that it is raining and he will not be able to go to the park. Love those big, beautiful, blue eyes!
Grandma Ilene - Author, Illustrator, Photographer