I never cease to be amazed by some of the questions and requests that come my way courtesy of my crowd of grandchildren, who are growing up so fast and expanding their sphere of knowledge at an amazing rate.
An example comes from just one day this week. The phone rings and its fourth-grader Alyssa.
“Grandma can you bring me some pipe cleaners and some colored cotton balls? At least three colors?”
“Sure, Alyssa,” I say. “I can bring you those. What do you need them for?”
“I’m going to build a neuron,” she says.
Minutes later, the phone rings. It’s sixth-grader Chloe.
“Grandma, have you gone to the store for Alyssa yet? Can you get me some modeling clay? I kind of need a lot.”
“OK,” I say. “Add modeling clay, quite a lot. What are you making?”
“I’m building the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. It has dragons and cows so I either need white and green and brown or paint. OK?”
I have to confess that I haven’t given much thought to the structure of neurons or the gates of Babylon in a very, very long time. But as I obligingly made a run to Hobby Lobby, I felt pretty good about the fact that both are part of the education that my grandkids are getting, thanks to K-12 Virtual School.
And I was even happier to discover that building 3-dimensional models was their idea. The book suggested drawing but they decided they’d like something more realistic.
I hadn’t been home an hour when the next call arrived. This time it’s second-grader Jaime, reminding me that I promised to take her to an emu farm so she could get some really terrific eggs and the trip is still pending.
“I’ve been checking the calendar,” she said. “It will be Easter in just two pages and if I’m going to have those eggs decorated in time, we need to get them soon. So can we maybe go Friday?”
I’m not sure about Friday, I tell her, because Grandma has deadline soon and she’s busy writing stories for the magazine.
Jaime didn’t miss a beat.
“Well, an emu farm should be a good story,” she says. “Couldn’t you write about emus for the magazine?”
I have to concede. I haven’t written an emu farm story. It might liven up the livestock section.
So for all of you who may wonder where the heck that idea came from, now you know the rest of the story.