Grandmotherhood · long distance parenting/grandparenting · Uncategorized · Winnie and Olive

Maga’s Magnificent Book Club: One way to be a long-distance grandma that makes a difference.

Sometimes I feel like I was born into the wrong era.  I long for “the family farm” where I live with my husband and probably more than one dog.  My kids all live just ‘down the road apiece’ with their families and they all gather in my kitchen every morning for coffee and a hot breakfast.  (I suppose that means I’d be cooking that breakfast, in which case I’d be handing out bowls for cereal.)  We’d all work together and tell stories all day and laugh.  The farm hands (not one of my kids impresses me as farm hand, but in this daydream, they all embrace their roles lovingly) saunter up to the main house at quittin’ time and come into the kitchen saying something like, “I’m so hungry I could eat the whole of Texas right now.”  (Someone said that in a southern accent, yet this fantasy farm is in Wisconsin.  It’s a little mixed up.)  We’d slap each others’ backs and sit down to some fabulous meal I’d have whipped up (or more likely picked up) and naturally, my grandchildren would be at my side, begging me to tell them about the good old days when I was a kid.

Problem is, in real life, none of my kids live down the road apiece and my three darling granddaughters live 3 states away.

When I go visit my daughter and her family, I love to drive through her neighborhood and pick out “my house.”  In THIS daydream, I live on the same street as Maria and her family and the kids come over on a regular basis.  I’m just a stone’s throw away so can help out whenever someone get’s sick or Maria needs to run somewhere and doesn’t want to haul all three girls.  Naturally, I’ve got their favorite snacks on hand and so coming to my house is as comfortable as being at their own home.

SKIIIIIIIIIIDDDDD.  OK, enough of this dreaming.  I consider myself pretty lucky to see them as much as I do, which is about every 6 to 8 weeks.  I dreamed up a little something (dreaming seems to come natural to me) that would help me be a more intentional grandma.  It comes from something I’ve loved ever since I was little . . . . . books.

And so, “Maga’s Magnificent Book Club” was born.


I think if you love books, and are a good reader, learning anything else is just that much easier.  I want my girls to love reading as I have.  So, here’s what I did!

  • I bought two three-ringed binders, one for Winnie and one for Olive
  • I also bought a bunch of awesome prizes at the dollar store and made a Treasure Box
  • I made up a “book report form” – – one that was fun and easy for little readers
  • Of course there are rules and rewards
  •    inside-folder
  • And then a way to keep track of the books they’ve read (or have been read to them)my-checklist

And there you have it. Complete with blurry pictures.  I’m hoping that this might be a way for them to feel like I’m not three states away, but right there with them.

If anyone has any other grandparenting-from-afar ideas, I’m all ears!