Library Grandma

    “Library Grandma,” Friend, Mar. 1994, 46

    Library Grandma

    I wish ev’ry child in the whole wide world Had a grandmother just like you. (Children’s Songbook, page 200.)

    Every Sunday morning at 8:30 we pick up our Church Grandma. She tweeks our cheeks and coos, “Oh, you cute things!” During sacrament meeting, Brett sits on one side of her, and I sit on the other. Her small, shriveled arms are barely as big as ours, but there is nothing shriveled about her voice. In an opera-voice she trills out each hymn, making them echo off the walls, pews, and pulpit in grand glory.

    When church is over and the last song sung, she always sighs, “Ahhhh, I wish we could stay and sing all day!” We love our Church Grandma.

    On Tuesdays, we visit our Rest Home Grandma. She has no family of her own—no children and no husband. Mama says we are her family now. She’s so tiny she seems lost in her wheelchair when we push it outside. Then she grasps the arms of the chair, sits forward, and leans into the wind, “Faster! Go faster!” she chirps in a high-pitched voice. Her silky white hair flows out behind her as Mama jogs and pushes until we run out of breath. “Whee! Do it again!” Grandma chortles.

    We jog and stroll and jog some more. “I wish I could ride all day,” she tells us. But before we get back to the rest home, she is fast asleep. We love our Rest Home Grandma.

    Our Neighborhood Grandma’s children live far away. We check on her every day. We head straight for her “jungle” room. There, potted plants with great, long arms and fingers beckon. The Neighborhood Grandma’s great, long arms and fingers answer with touches here and there as she sprinkles and splashes and sloshes each plant. Pools of water form on the floor.

    We yank off our shoes and sprinkle and splash. We slosh and splat and make the puddles fly. Our Neighborhood Grandma kicks off her boots. Her practiced feet make the water sloosh and slop higher still.

    When it’s time for us to go, she pouts, “You always leave in the middle of the fun. Stay and slosh all day!” We love our Neighborhood Grandma.

    Every Saturday at ten o’clock, Mama takes Brett and me to the library. That’s when our Library Grandma reads.

    The other children grab books and yell, “Read mine! Read mine!” Brett and I sit quietly, like people should in a library.

    Our Library Grandma gathers the grabby grumblers and growls like a grouchy gorilla. She reads wild stories for wild children. Her hair springs from the bun on the top of her head. Her arms wave and her feet stomp. Her eyes squint and her brow wrinkles. The wide-eyed children hold their breath.

    “Don’t stop, Grandma,” they beg when it’s time to go. “Read to us all day.” They love her, but we love her the best.

    After our Library Grandma finishes reading to all the children each Saturday, we pick out books to take home. When Mama comes to get us, she gives our Library Grandma a ride home too. At our house, she comes in. Brett and I give her our library books and yell, “Read mine! Read mine!” Then our Library Grandma, our very own real Grandma, hugs us—and reads to us all day!

    Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki