I'm not a good influence. I have issues.
But, I love my grandkids. As human beings, they’re superior examples. All of them. I decided early on I wouldn’t be a check writing grandparent, no matter how much I want them to have everything they want in life. I don’t want to be that grandma. I’d like to give them something more…meaningful, more influential. But, what? It’s a particular challenge given we are all spread out.
When we lived closer, my oldest granddaughters cooked with me. They loved it, I loved it. When they’d visit, they counted on making cupcakes, cookies, stirring the pot, whatever. Definitely a grandma-ish activity. Now, those times are few and far between. I had to think of something else.
I’m a writer. I could write something for them. Not about them, but for them. I daydreamed about leaving a written legacy, an exposition that would stand the test of time, and get handed down through the generations.
I narrowed it down to a children’s book.
I’ve got to give a shout out to children’s book authors. They’re brilliant. If you’ve ever tried to hold the attention of a three year-old for more than two seconds, you know they’re a tough crowd. If you can make one laugh, you’ve got it going on.
I narrowed it down to a short story.
I remembered my own mother regaling me with the prayer she and her brothers and sisters (nine of them) used to say before bed. It started out God bless…then she shot out all nine names like an AK-47. It always made me laugh. I thought that’d be a sweet beginning.
By paragraph three a strange man appeared in the woods.
By the fourth, he died - bullet to the brain.
By the fifth, he was in the later stages of decomp.
When the story took its inevitable, incestuous turn, I cried Uncle.
I see through the glass darkly. It’s who I am. Writing a children’s story is not in my future. It’s best for all.
I’ve got to go write some checks.