Grammies are Wonderful People to Little Grandboys

By Dianne Wandruff Hansen

She has 12 grandchildren, but only 3 have lived nearby. Now those 3 are moving away...far across the country so that it will require serious travel plans to see them in person. But Grammies are innovative and clear thinkers! This Grammie has a plan and she knows just how to keep contact with her little ones.

First off, she will send them away with a personal cd recording for each child. The recording will be of Grammie herself, singing, reading, talking just like she always does, affirming her love and giving sweet advice...reminding them never to forget her.

Then, next summer, she's thinking of running a Cousin's Camp. Oh, she's innovative all right! She knows how to plan adventures on a childlike level because she remembers clearly how it feels to be a child. She loves adventure herself! Besides planning creek hikes, boat floats, kayak trips, rope swinging at the lake, she will take picnics with good food. Not necessarily sweet, sticky food that undermines their health, but nutritious, fruity cookies or moist cake with honey butter for the frosting. Grandboys and their Grammies love such things, even though parents might turn up their noses. Parents are spoiled!

All during the year, Grammie will send the boys personalized letters and packages, each one illustrated and each one wrapped in brilliant colors, then completely covered with transparent tape to protect the pretty wrapping. They may be rough and tumble boys, but they like their bright colors, especially if sent by Grammie. She makes them feel so special and important, each one in turn.

Once, while they still lived nearby, she sent them a freshly dead snake! And again, the parents didn't exactly appreciate the gesture... They can't seem to remember the days she used to take them on walks in the country, pointing out interesting things like dead snakes, big crawling bugs, overhead skies. Why can't they remember the feelings of excitement and camaraderie when a child and an adult share a discovery of something SO important?

Well, Grammie is not deterred, not at all. She has a plan and she knows what to do. She doesn't want to be forgotten, so she innovatively thinks of ways to please the little boys, drawing their minds toward hers, filling their memories with pleasant pictures...remember the day we were so brave to go off the tree swing when the college guys were afraid to go? Remember how we paddled the kayaks so well when we'd never even been in a kayak before?

Remember Grammie? Family relationships involving the differing generations are so rich! These relationships make life memorable for a little boy. They'll always remember being at Grammie's house, remember her specialty cookies made especially for them. They'll remember being allergic to chocolate and butter and Grammie making treats without chocolate and butter, making things to eat that completely circumvented the desire for common chocolate and butter!

Grammies are wonderful people to little boys, totally supportive, always loving, full of hugs and kisses and secrets...whispers of activities to come, firm guidance along the way. Naps, no fighting with the brothers, manners at the table, eating outdoors, camping on the lawn, building campfires in the backyard, reading interesting stories, and cuddling down in Grammie's beautiful soft baby-blue feather comforter. Saying prayers and singing songs before sleeping, listening to her soft voice putting them to sleep. Little grandboys revere their Grammies, minding them most of the time, learning to mind them for sure the next time...and asking her any question that they don't know themselves. For instance, "Grammie, where's Heaven?" "Why did Grampie die?" "Where will you go when you die?"

As for me, I thoroughly enjoy the relationship between a good Grammie and her little grandboys. I've observed several sets during my time and here's what I have to say about that: Give the Grammies and the grandboys plenty of space and free time. They'll know what to do with it! They'll thrive and grow and influence each other for the good. That's the way it is when people love each other so strongly and unreservedly. That's the way it is when grandboys and their Grandmothers admire and respect each other all the way to the end.

Thank God for Grammies! Thank God for YOUR family!

Dianne Hansen is a grammie par excellence; a homemaker for two; a gardener of huge, healthy veggies and brilliant ever-blooming flowers; a hiker/walker; and an anti-aging specialist. She lives with her husband, David, in a romantic valley tucked up under the Canadian northwest Montana.
See her online profile at

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