Wednesday, May 8, 2024

When Grandparenting and Writing Collide in a Fun Adventure

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Isn’t grandparenting the best? (And for those of you who haven’t experienced this treat from God, why not borrow a dear friends grandchild and experience some of the joy yourself?) My husband and I love every adventure with our only grandchild thus far, but we especially love when our professional lives collide with Benaiah‘s little world.

On a recent visit to catch our five-year-old grandson’s baseball game, our son-in-love found out that Wednesday was insect day for letter I in his son‘s pre-K classroom. Before getting our hopes up, Adam texted the teacher, pointed out that Benaiah’s grandfather was an entomologist, and asked if she would like for him to come speak to the class. 

Apparently, she first looked up that word, and then responded to Adam with a resounding “yes”.

We weren’t as prepared as we could have been, but we went into action immediately for the event just two days away. At the park, we caught six ladybugs. Under the back porch, David collected spiders to point out the difference between an eight-legged critter and a six-legged one. And he scooped up two bees in the backyard. 

I rounded up some of Benaiah‘s insect books we’d had gifted him previously. And with the help of my Heavenly event planner whom nothing surprises, I made plans to wear the dragonfly shirt I just happened to have in my suitcase.

When the day arrived, we joined Benaiah for lunch and snacked on pizza and a chicken patty. (I say snack, because in order to fit in everyone’s lunch, his class visits the cafeteria by 10:25, and our portions were rather small but yummy!) After tossing trash and returning trays and a quick bathroom visit for all of the kids, twenty excited four- and five-year-olds gathered on the carpet at the front of the classroom.

David shared insect facts in little-people language and then identified and discussed the insects kids brought for show and tell. He gently pointed out that roly-polies, otherwise known as pill bugs, are not actually insects and neither were the worm and three spiders. He also discussed the one ant left in the container with the loose lid, as we all wondered where the second one had ventured to!

Next, I read insect books to eager listeners. I took the opportunity to remind kids that Mr. Lavender had to learn all about insects before he started work as an entomologist. 

“One way Benaiah’s granddaddy learned about insects was by reading lots of books,” I proudly told them. “And guess what, boys and girls? I’m a writer, and I love writing books for kids to help them learn. Mr. Lavender and I wrote four books about animals that might be in your library one day.”

The kids were abuzz by the time we finished our presentation, just in time for recess.

The kids who brought in critters carried their jars and containers to the playground, and we released their treasures back into the wild. Fascinated students spent more time with crawling and flying insects than slides and swingsets. 

Benaiah’s teacher and I chatted as we watched the kids’ buggy adventures. She asked for details about my upcoming books, explaining, “The librarian often asks us for book recommendations.” 

I shared the name of the educational company publishing our animal books and also told her about my picture book, A Gingerbread House, releasing from End Game Press. She took notes on her phone and promised to tell the librarian. My a few words to five-year-olds took flight, and on a wing and a prayer, copies of my books just might find a home in my grandson‘s school library.

I’m not sure who had more fun in the classroom that morning, but I’m pretty sure it was the visiting entomologist and writer. I’m glad our professional lives collided with those enthusiastic five-year-olds.

Do you have a favorite story of a time when your writing life collided with a grandchild’s life? Will you share it with us below? 


When Grandparenting and Writing Collide in a Fun Adventure from @JLavenderWrites on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Julie Lavender is excited that her children’s books release this fall, a children’s picture book with End Game Press and four educational children’s books co-authored with her husband. She’s also excited about the release of two books since October: the bilingual edition of her award-winning, Amazon bestselling, Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime; andStrength for All Seasons: A Mom’s Devotional of Powerful Verses and Prayers.


  1. What an awesome day, Julie. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us, and congratulations on the upcoming book!

  2. Julie, as a Pop to seven rambunctious grandboys, I've written many a devo from experiences with them. Thanks for the good word.

  3. Most of my blogs are life experiences with our grandchildren. Those two kids bring more joy than they will ever know. :-)

  4. When my grandson, Lucas, was in 5th grade, I was able to go to his class. FINALLY! I had been offering to his and my granddaughter's teachers for YEARS!

    Anyway, I went armed with my knitted Willoughby and Willoughby books, my YA novel, and a short story anthology. I also had cupcakes, juice boxes, bookmarks & stickers, and paper chef hats. I had one Willoughby and the Lumpy Bumpy Cake book for each kid, even though they were really too old for picture books.

    It. Was. The. Best. Thing. I. Ever. Did.

    I talked to them. Read to them. They told me they wanted to be scared and wanted to laugh. I told them about my fantasy novel, that the witch caught and ATE FAIRIES. They properly freaked out. haha! And I read part of the battle scene in my short story because they wanted blood and guts.

    They colored their paper chef hats, put them on, and we got a group shot. My grandson kept saying, "That's MY grandmom!"

    The next day, one of my girlfriends from high school (she works in the cafeteria) sent me a message on FB and told me when Lucas's class came in for lunch, they ALL were wearing their chef hats!!!

    Grands are the best. They both helped me with the chapter book I wrote, too. And they say such funny things to each other, I've written down their dialog and have used it in stories. haha!