Today is the day that has kept the girls so excited for weeks. Ever since their teacher announced the Show and Tell, the girls have not stopped talking about it.

Katharina’s babushka (grandma) suggested she bring her presentation box containing a Russian princess doll. Babushka told Katharina how she’s had the box since she was a little girl and that someday it would be hers when she grew up. Babushka loves to talk about the old country and how she attended grand balls in beautiful palaces. Sometimes Katharina even thought her babushka was royalty, but she always denied it. Katharina told her best friends Liesel and Franziska about bringing grandma’s presentation box to school and they both loved the idea. They even turned toward each other and said, ” My grandma has a presentation box too”. So now the plan was set in motion, both Liesel and Franziska would ask their grandmas if they could bring their presentation boxes to school.

Franziska being the most confident of the group had no problem asking her grandmere (grandma) about the box. Franziska’s grandmere came from France and was pleasantly surprised in her interest in the box. Grandmere told her about all the beautiful dolls she saw in France with names like Bru and Jumeau. Franziska giggled at the names of the dollies since they sounded so funny. She loves talking to her grandma about when she was a little girl in France. Franziska promised her grandmere that they would go together to Paris when she was a big girl and visit the museums to see all the beautiful dolls. Grandmere said she’d be proud for Franziska to take the box to school and after hearing that Franziska’s friends were bringing boxes from their grandmas for show and tell she let out a “Vive La France!” (what ever that means).

Liesel being the shy one of the group had to work up the courage to ask her Oma (grandma). Oma was from the old country and sometimes frightened Liesel with her stern tone when she spoke German around the house. Liesel started off by asking Oma how was her day and then quickly turned the subject to the box (Liesel thought the segue quite clever), Oma erupted with a loud “Warum (Why) do you ask about my puppen box ?”. Liesel startled by Oma’s reaction decided the best thing was to just ask straight forward if she could bring the box to school since her friends were bringing their grandma’s boxes. Well, when Oma learned there would be a Russian as well as a French box at school she just swelled up with pride and told Lieselchen (something she only called her on her birthday) to come and sit on her lap. Oma gave Liesel a big hug and began to tell her all about the box and all the toys inside it. Oma was given the box by her father whose job with the railroad took him all over Germany. Papa would buy little things for her box in far off towns and place them inside. When Oma would ask her papa where the new toy came from he would always say the little fairies must have put it in the box. This made Liesel smile because she knew there were no such things as fairies and besides she knew only Santa brought toys to little children. After that day Liesel spent many afternoons with Oma learning secret cookie recipes and the mysterious arts of sewing and knitting, all things she’d pass on when she grew up.

Johanna was a late entry for the occasion. She was friends with Liesel since their omas (grandmas) spoke the same German language. Johanna didn’t have to work hard to get to take her oma’s box to school since it was oma who suggested it. Oma was from Switzerland and very proud of it. Even though she was friendly with Liesel’s grandma she still thought her Swiss box was nicer. Oma always loved to tell Johanna of how it was in the old country when she was a little girl. She spoke of how beautiful the countryside was and of all the farm animals they had. There were cows and pigs and chickens and even a rooster who was their alarm clock (Johanna was puzzled by that one, she knows a rooster can’t tell time). Oma said it was really important to grow your own food (imagine that). Oma said her papa worked from the time before the sun came out until it went to bed for the night. Oma said the thing she missed the most about the old counrty was the sweets. The chocolates and cookies she said were the best. Johanna always helped oma when she make these goodies. She made sure not one bowl went into the kitchen sink before it was thoroughly cleaned by her (oma could tell this by the chocolate traces left on the sides of Johanna’s little face).

Well, just as you’d expect the girls’ boxes were the hit of the show. Their teacher was very impressed with each girl’s knowledge of her own box and all the background information about their grandma’s homeland. The teacher gave herself a pat on the back for giving the assignment in the first place, but we know who really provided the lesson here.

Grandmas and Grandpas are wonderful gifts given to little boys and girls. We’ve all experienced the joy and wonder spending time with them as children. How they seemed to ooze love and wisdom and nourished our formidable years. Yes they are a gift all right, one that’s returned when we too become grandparents and start oozing our love.

Annette Herrmann Originals
780 Milton Oaks Drive - Alpharetta, GA. 30022
Tel: (770) 569-1043