How many of you celebrated Grandparents’ Day? Do you know when the designated day to celebrated grandparents is? Yesterday, Sunday, September 7th was the day to honor, recognize and remember our grandparents. National Grandparents’ Day was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.
I have sweet memories of spending time with my Seibold Grandparents, on their farm in North Dakota. My Grandma, Mathilda, was born in 1900 and passed away in 2001. Yes, you did the Math correctly! She lived to be 101 years old!
Grandma taught me how to do many things. She shared the love of reading with me and taught me how to sew. Because of her, I now have beautiful flower beds and a large organic vegetable garden. My Mom said the *farmer gene* skipped her generation and I am happy to say that I inherited the love of the land, just like my Grandparents who farmed on the plains of North Dakota.
What fun we had baking together. The kitchen was the place where everyone gathered. Together Grandma and I baked sticky caramel rolls, fresh bread, homemade lefse [Norwegian flatbread], German kuchen, chocolate chip cookies and much more. A favorite dessert that she made from scratch was an Angel Food cake that was baked with 13 egg whites and topped with fresh whipped cream and sweet strawberries from the garden. Am I making you hungry yet?
I recall Grandpa Ed visiting our family in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, I did not know my Grandma Erickson, as she passed away on Christmas Eve before I was born. I remember Grandpa taking me to a candy store in our neighborhood. Together we walked hand in hand to the little corner store. The large glass and wood barrels of candy seemed taller than me. We would head home with a small bag of sweet treats munching and sharing along the way.
My husband and I are grandparents. Pa Perry and Oma Sue are blessed with seven, sweet, unique grands. All of them enjoy reading and enjoy being read to. Each one of them is special to us.
As a writer, you may want to consider writing a story about your Grandparents. You may want to write your own story for your granchildren. I am compiling my thoughts in a journal that tells about my story. Our grandchildren gave me a special journal to write my story in.
There are many excellent picture books, both fiction and nonfiction stories, about Grandparents. Four books that I recommend are:
By David M. Schwartz, Illustrated by Bert Dodson
At the age of sixty-six years, Gustaf Håkansson accomplished a feat, that many half his age would not even consider. In 1951, Gustaf rode in the Tour of Sweden. The Swedish bicycle race, called the Sverige-Loppet, is the longest ride, held over many days, and is 1,761 kilometers or 1,094 miles long. Gustaf’s family laughed at him and told him that he was too old. “Struntprat,” Gustaf replied. “Silly talk!”
Cycling night and day, Gustaf not only finished the ride, he won the race! Children gave him the nickname Stålfarfar or “Supergrandpa.” Gustaf Håkansson believed in his dream and showed that through hard work and motivation, anyone can do it. He continued to ride his bike and participated in bicycle races at 85 years of age. Gustaf lived to be 102 and always encouraged Swedish children to exercise, live healthy and try hard. “Va’ som Stålfarfar – “Be like Supergrandpa.”
Grandad Bill’s Song
By Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Melissa Bay Mathis
Distinquished author of more than 130 books for children and adults, Jane Yolen, writes a sweet story that offers comfort to children when losing a loved one. The story is a lyrical poem about of a child’s struggle to express his feelings aout the death of his grandfather.
“What did you do on the day Grandad died?” the little boy asks of several family members. He is surprised by the answers as everyone has a special memory that is different and no two are alike.
Nana’s Birthday Party
By Amy Hest, Illustrated by Amy Schwartz
Every year, Nana invites her relatives from all over the city to celebrate her birthday. She has rules for her special day that are posted on the door: 1.No jeans 2. No gum and 3. No presents, except the kind you make yourself. Maggie and Brette, two cousins, are determined to make something special for Nana. Maggie is great at writing stories and Brette is a talented painter. Together the girls combine their talents to make the grandest gift ever for Nana.
By Mary Grace Ketner, Illustrated by Barbara Sparks
Daphne is very old. Her great-granddaughter, who calls her Ganzy, enjoys visiting her at the nursing home. Daphne’s family likes listening to many colorful stories of when she was younger. Ganzy remembers when she was young Daphine and when she went to school. Many years ago, Daphne road her horse, Prince, to a one-room schoolhouse in the Texas Hill Country.
To her great-grandaughter, Ganzy’s stories are a great gift of love. Some of the stories are are true and clear memories. Some of the stories have been become tales, enhanced over the years.
After one of many visits, Daphne’s great-grandaughter and her daughter walk quietly down the hall hand in hand. The story ends with this conversation, “Ganzy remembers lots of interesting things, doesn’t she, Grandmother?” her great-granddaughter says. “Yes, and some of them really happened.”
If you missed celebrating Grandparents’ Day, yesterday, it is not too late. Find some time to let your Grandparents know that you love them. Take the time to call and let your Grandparent know that you are thinking of him. Spend some time visiting with a Grandparent. Listen to what she has to say. Everyone has a story to tell. Write a note or letter to your Grandparents. Tell them why they are special to you. Share your fondest memories with them. Most importantly, tell your Grandparents that you love them.
And if you are a Grandparent, share a gift with the grandchildren. Share your story.