The princesses and the pumpkins

Gail Kirby of Powder Springs, Ga., became a grandmother in 2010, when her son, Dusty, who’d been injured in Iraq, fell in love with a single mom who had two little girls.

Since then, Dusty and his girlfriend have had two daughters of their own.

Gail babysits the whole crew four days a week.

“I make a lot of mistakes as a mom and I make a lot of mistakes as a mother-in-law—more mistakes as a mother-in-law than as a mom,” says Gail, 53, who recently published a book about Dusty’s journey toward recovery.

“But I’m going to be very honest with you: I am a wonderful grandmother.”

Last October, Gail took all four girls to a pumpkin patch to celebrate Halloween. One-year-old Ayslynn dressed up as Raggedy Ann; her big sisters Isabella, 8, and Lylah, 4, were princesses; and the baby, Scarlett, wore a spooky sleeper in her stroller.

Gail tried wearing an inflatable pumpkin suit but took it off when Ayslynn screamed.

“I fall in love with these kids every single time I see them,” she says. “Too much fun and what a gift!”