Dedicated to My Grandson Daniel

The new year for Daniel means a new home — in Boston — a new school, and new friends. He told me in November, “When I come to your house at Christmas, I’m going to give you an extra big hug so you won’t miss me so much when I move to Boston.”

As we build a different kind of relationship in the months ahead, via Face Time and through letters (Daniel loves writing), there are many moments, especially from recent weeks, for me to cherish. Among them:

  • Kathy Stinson's grandson Daniel playing the ukuleleWalking to school with him during a snowfall, Daniel chatting away about all the good things you can do in snow: make a snowman, make a snow angel… then energetically running ahead to the next intersection.
  • Watching him interact with other kids at a favourite playground, kindly and competitively, always in the spirit of friendship. When he knows we’ll be leaving the park soon, he says to a new arrival, “Wanna be my friend for a bit?”
  • Witnessing his interactions with Abeed Remtulla, who invited him to the CNIB to record a book, his careful attention to Abeed’s instructions, his enthusiasm for Bark, George! “I’m good at reading,” Daniel says proudly, and “I love recording.”
  • Hearing Daniel, in a small group of students at his school’s winter concert, singing and playing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on the ukulele less than two weeks before Christmas. Well, you can bet that just about did me in.
  • Heading out to walk the dog with me and his aunt (my daughter) — in the dark so he can enjoy the lights — Daniel suggests, “Maybe we can do carolling!” Good friends respond warmly to “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”

Soon after hearing Daniel’s doing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” solo on Grampa’s ukulele, I got my “extra big hug.”

I wish Daniel and his parents all the best in their new home, and my son in his exciting new job. Already I’m looking forward to their first visit back here, during school break in February. I’ll have extra big hugs ready for all of them.

Share this post:

Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. myrnasews on January 1, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Thank you so much for your email. I wish him all the best wishes in the new year. Happy New Year to both of you. Love Myrna.

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Thank you, Myrna. Wonderful to see Linda in 2019. It would be great to see you too in 2020. Happy New Year!

  2. janlcoates on January 1, 2020 at 11:04 am

    So nice, Kathy. With both my kids married now, I’m hoping to be a grandmother someday, too. Happy and healthy 2020 to you and Peter.

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 11:12 am

      If that’s in the cards for your family, Jan, I hope the experience will bring you much joy! Health and happiness to you too.

  3. Jean Morris on January 1, 2020 at 11:18 am

    What a touching story…there must be a book there!
    HappyNew Year!
    P andJ

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Jean. I have been working on a ukulele story for a while, but not this one. Hmm. Happy New Year to you and Peter too!

  4. trudee on January 1, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    How lovely! Thinking warm and comforting thoughts for all of you as you navigate this transition.


    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Trudee. I know we’ll be fine, and warm comforting thoughts are welcome in the meantime — and any time!

  5. Janet Barclay on January 1, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve always dreaded the thought of someone near and dear to me moving far away. Fortunately, it’s much easier to stay in touch these days than it used to be, so I hope you and Daniel can maintain the close bond that you have. xo

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you. We will do our best! I’m sure the time we spent together this fall will help. 💟

  6. niknar on January 1, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I feel for you, Kathy. kr

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you. I know I’m a lucky woman to have this child to miss when he’s away.

  7. Sylvia McNicoll on January 1, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Love how you cherish your moments with Daniel. Even though I’m a little sad for you that he is moving away, I will be excited to see how you use different opportunities to create new special moments with them. Happy New Year,

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Sylvia. Happy New Year to you too!

  8. wendy mason on January 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Kathy…I thank you for sharing this. Lovely memories to treasure forever.

    • Kathy on January 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you Wendy. I know you know all too well about the treasuring of memories. Wishing you all good things in the new year.

  9. taborstomreg on January 2, 2020 at 11:24 am

    What a lovely tribute to your grandson. How old is he anyway?
    Happy New Year!


    • Kathy on January 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Gine. He’s seven now. Happy New Year to you too!

Leave a Comment

Please read my Privacy Policy before commenting/subscribing.