Wow! I never thought this day would arrive. It's kind of like waiting for a baby to be born. The first few months are very exciting, you begin to redecorate a special room in your home, buy blankets, bottles and pacifiers. The family begins to guess about names, whether it's a boy or girl and predict the exact date and time the baby will be born. Through the baby showers and special parties and lunches, you begin to realize this is really happening. As the months go by, it seems as though forever will come before the baby does! Then all of a sudden, there it is. And you wonder what all the fuss of waiting was about. The long wait is over and you have your new little treasure in your hands.
No, I didn't have a baby. But, I do have a brand new book out entitled, "As I Grow Up and You Grow Down." It's my very first children's book and while it certainly doesn't resemble the birth of a baby, the time passed just the same. But it was worth it. :) Currently, there are more books planned for this series, but this is the first. I wrote this from the perspective of grandchildren with their Grandmother. Being a grandmother now, and loving it, the idea for the book seemed to take on a whole new meaning. Here's some thoughts about it and some of the inspiration.
While many are known to spoil their grandchildren rotten, grandmothers represent a nurturing and influential force in the lives of their children’s children. This book highlights special memories between a grandmother and her two grandchildren, a boy and a girl. (Umm, yeah, need I remind you that I have one of each as well!) This uncomplicated tale follows two children, a boy and girl, as they share a number of simple, yet memory-making activities with their adored grandmother. When the children are small, they follow diligently as Grandma leads the way, gently instructing them as they bake cookies, plant flowers, and learn to sing their favorite songs. During their time together, the children talk of the day, and Grandma dreams of the day, when they will be big enough to emulate Grandma’s patience and compassion. As the children grow up and become more and more capable, they take joy in returning their grandmother’s kindness. Each precious memory enriches their lives for the future, molding them into more confident, thoughtful adults who are sold out on compassion and love. Or at least that's the hope.
As grandchildren grow up, they begin to notice that Grandma seems to be growing down relative to their perspective. The experiences with their Grandma illustrate to small children the values of love, sharing, compassion and kindness, and how emulating their grandmother’s values will most certainly lead to kind behavior later in life.
I was inspired by my relationship with my own grandmothers and the relationship I hope to have with my grandchildren, as well as research on grandparenting relationships in general. Also, I drew on Kathe Levenson’s book entitled, “When I Grow Up and You Grow Down.” Yes, very similar, but totally different storyline. It was my hope to partner with her to rewrite the original book with a subsequent series to follow; however, Kathe granted me permission and her blessing because she was undergoing hospital care at the time. Little did I know how serious it was. A few months later, she passed away. In part, I have dedicated this book to her.
I want the experience of reading this book to plant seeds in the minds of children that relationships are special, and that children have it within themselves to return the kindness they see in others as they are growing up. It is my hope that readers, even at the youngest of ages, will realize the preciousness of relationships with their grandparents. Creating lasting memories together will model and shape grandchildren to become loving parents and grandparents themselves later on down the road.
Simply stated, I had hoped to capture the wonder and beauty of the multi-generational relationship and its role in the development of a child’s character, as well as foster dialogues between little children and their parents or grandparents about the importance of relationships. It should also spark conversations about their own experiences, providing an avenue to share about their life when they were young.
I’m hoping that you will partner with me in sharing this book with all of your friends, family, coworkers, etc. Please feel free to share this link to my website, where there is more information about the book and ways to order specially signed hardcover copies.
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