I met Cocky van den Ham while I was working at a Book Fair in The Netherlands, and I immediately liked her. She loves God, she loves her family, and she has a peaceful way about her. When I discovered that Cocky was a grandma, I asked her if she’d be willing to contribute some stories or ideas for The Christian Grandma’s Idea Book. She graciously agreed. One of her stories is a clever take on how to deal with a little bit of sibling rivalry.
Our grandsons, L___ and M___ , call us “Opa prik” – in English that’s something like Grandpa prick, because he has a beard that’s prickly – and “Oma Ham” because Ham’s our last name. They live nearby, and every Tuesday I pick them up at twelve o’clock and we have lunch together. The boys are fond of frankfurters (I think that’s what you call those little sausages). Every week I buy some frankfurters and some white rolls, and then we have a frankfurter party.
One time, though, there was a big problem, because both grandsons wanted to serve the frankfurters. So we came up with the idea that one week L___ would serve the frankfurters and M___ would serve the rolls, and the next week it would be the other way around. To make it special, we made two caps for the boys. On one cap we wrote: “Vandaag ben ik knakworsten directeur” (Today I am the frankfurters boss). On the other cap we wrote “Vandaag ben ik bolletjes burgemeester” (Today I am the rolls mayor). We made a checklist so they can see who’s on term for which task. That makes every Tuesday a happy day.” (p. 30, The Christian Grandma’s Idea Book, Crossway Books.)
I still get to see Cocky and her husband at Book Fairs in Europe from time to time, and it’s always a treat to catch up. When our grandson was born, Cocky sent me a pair of wooden shoes that were made by the wooden shoe maker in her little village in Holland. The brightly painted shoes are perched on the hearth of our fireplace. When our little grandson comes to visit, we hide something small for him inside those wooden shoes . . .