How many children do you have? I have five children: Holly- age 23, Zoë- age 18, Abigael- age 17, Jodie- age 14 and Daniel- age 8. I also have a new son (in law)- Ben
How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I am enjoying right now one grand child, Hazel age 28 months
Any great grandchildren? no
What do your grandchildren call you? When Hazel was born there was quite the discussion amongst family, friends and my readers over what my name should be for my grandbaby. I decided to just wait and see what Hazel would call me. When she was around 18 months or so she named me "Mi-Ma". I like it. I like it a lot because it is her name for me and because she calls her other grandmother "grandma". Actually she calls any woman who looks older than me "grandma". LOL
How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Every day. My husband and I have been the primary caregivers for Hazel when her mama is working. Just this last August, Hazel and her parents moved in with us while they save a little money hopefully to get a home of their own.
What is the best thing about being a grandma? I feel like I get a do-over of sorts. Hazel is pretty much a clone of her mama at that age. Time and wisdom has given me a lot of understanding of who this child of mine was and is and who her child is. They both are everything I wanted to be when I was a child: very strong forces of nature. I have grown closer to my first born daughter whom I have spent most of her life butting heads with...and I get to see the "mother's curse" I put upon Holly during her stormy adolescence come true just a little...the one where we tell our children that they will grow up to have kids just like them.
What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? The fact that I am still raising children of my own. My 8 year old is very proud of his status as Uncle Dan but at the same time he is mindful of the fact that she is treated perhaps a little bit differently than he is. It helps that I dealt with that when my first born was growing up as my father and his wife were raising my youngest sister who is several months younger than Holly is. I am reminded of how challenging it was for my little sister so I try to be sensitive to how my young son feels.
The second most challenging thing has to be sharing her with her other Grandma. I'm not very good at sharing. Kind of ironic since I am the first born of six and have a large family of my own.
Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. After her Auntie Zoë came home from college for a visit and to introduce her boyfriend to the family. Hazel was absolutely enamored with him. Now almost everyday she begs for me to skype so she can talk to Josh...and after a long pause she will add "and Zoë too.".
What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Hazel loves to dance so we dance all the time. There is a lot of "sashaying" going on around here under the Big Top.
What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? From the time before she was born, when her mama came to us to tell us that she was alone and pregnant and wanting to have her baby, I promised that no matter what Hazel would always be surrounded by the love of her very large family and will always know how loved she is by so many. This last year her family circle expanded greatly as her mama married the love of her life, Ben, who happens to come from an equally large family who loves Hazel just as much as we do.
What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Present
What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? To trust her mama more. She is a GREAT mama and has been from the very start. But just like me 24 years ago, she is learning as she goes and I believe that is part of the journey that is motherhood.
What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Relax and just enjoy, this truly is the fun part of parenting.
Do you have a website or blog? I have been blogging at Adventures In Juggling for almost six years now.