Spring Break is over. It’s back to regular life. I’m glad, I must admit. I didn’t have off work, but I did have off parenting as Ladybug went on vacation to Gram and Grandpa’s house for a full seven days. It was such a long time to be gone! For her and us. Towards the end of the week, she was saying, “I want to go back to MY house” to me on the phone. She never got upset or cried, but she definitely knew what she wanted.
My absolute favorite visiting-grandparents picture book is probably not a surprise: The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Rashka. How can you not love that combination? The author of The Phantom Tollbooth with one of the most interesting children’s book illustrators in the biz? Yes, please. It’s just so exuberant. I cannot resist the energy. I actually have a page from the F&G tacked to the wall of my cubicle at Mackin. The one where Poppy is yelling in capital letters out the window “HELLO WORLD! WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FOR ME TODAY?”
I’m such a sucker for that kind of positive energy. I just love it.
Not to mention, I love grandparents. Not just for the fact that they willingly take my toddler for a week. That’s awesome, but I really love stories and grandparents have them. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old or rich or poor. They have stories. I hope when my daughter gets older, she listens to her grandparents’ stories. I can’t imagine my mom being anything like the grandmother in Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis, but that’s what I have in my head for grandmothers now.
“My grandmother isn’t at all normal. She doesn’t read mystery novels, or sing in a church choir, or knit, or sew.”
Mare, or Marey Lee Boylen, is the sort of grandmother who smokes, wears stiletto heels, and drives a sports car. “Scary,” her granddaughter Octavia says, “Mostly because I never know what she’s going to do next.” As it turns out, Mare is more than the idea that Octavia had of her, and she takes her granddaughter more than just on a cross-country road trip. I must admit that I was as caught up in Mare’s story as her granddaughers were, and I added Mare’s War to my list of fiction featuring extended family with my personal recommendation.
It sure what nice to have a break, but I’m glad that my little is back home at MY house.