By Kelly Roberts
I love my shaky quaky Gramma. I give her lots of hugs. My shaky quaky Gramma loves me.
We play basketball. But sometimes her legs get wobbly. So, she sits in a chair and yells, “Great shot!” when I make a basket.
I love to play with my shaky quaky Gramma. But sometimes she is pretty shaky. One day we were building with blocks and she accidentally knocked down my building. I cried even though I know she didn’t do it on purpose. I think sometimes it makes her cry too.
We read lots of books together. But sometimes I have to hold the book because she is too shaky. I turn the pages and she reads to me in funny voices.
We play board games. But sometimes she accidentally hits the board and knocks all the pieces off onto the floor. We laugh as we put it back together.
Sometimes she gets embarrassed when my friends are around. But I tell them not to be afraid of my shaky quaky Gramma and they understand.
We play video car racing and she tries not to shake too much. But she usually comes in last. I love my shaky quaky Gramma when she doesn’t mind if I win.
We take short walks by the river and throw rocks. She has to use her cane so I don’t run way ahead but stay close in case she falls.
We like to paint pictures. But sometimes she makes blops on the page and makes them into dinosaurs. Some blops make good butterflies so we paint them together. I love my shaky quaky Gramma!
My Gramma told me she has essential tremor (ET). A tremor means something that shakes. She said something works different in her brain and she makes shaking movements she can’t control. My Gramma can’t help it when she shakes and quakes. It will never go away and she can’t give it to anyone like a cold.
My mom and I make cookies. My shaky quaky Gramma used to make cookies too. But sometimes she would spill the flour or burn herself on the cookie pan. So now we play silly music and she sings along and dances with us in the kitchen. My shaky quaky Gramma is a good dancer. You should see us shake and quake while we bake!
But sometimes it makes me extra sad she shakes and quakes. I just give her a bigger hug and tell her I love her. She hugs me back extra tight with her shaky quaky arms and tells me she loves me.
Let’s go shake and quake Gramma!
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Kelly is a student at the Institute for Children’s Literature. She wrote this because she thinks it’s important to teach children empathy and to help them learn to not be afraid of people who shake or are different. She said, “Stigma falls way the more we talk about this things.”