Grilled Grandma: Darlene

How many children do you have?

3 – April is 38, Jason is 35 and Kevin will be 32 next month.

How many grandchildren?  9

What are their ages?

Alex – 16          (April)

Ricky – 13        (Kevin’s stepson)

Rachel – 10      (April)

Nathan – 9       (April)

Tyler – 9           (Kevin)

Daniel – 9        (Jason)

Bryan – 6         (Jason)

Twins:

Katie – 6          (April)

Thomas – 6      (April)

I also have two grandchildren who are little angels and are living with Jesus – Cassandra and Jonathan.  They’re waiting for Mema and Papa to come and play with them.

Any great grandchildren?

Lord, no.  I hope they wait a while.

What do your grandchildren call you?  Mema

How often do you get to see your grandchildren?

I get to see Daniel and Bryan probably twice a week, mostly at church.  They live five miles from us.

My other little darlings I get to see about every 6 to 8 weeks, if I’m lucky.  They live almost 3 hours away and it’s hard to go see them since I’m still working full time and have a second job playing the piano at church on Sundays (morning and evening worship) and for Wednesday night Bible Study.

What is the best thing about being a grandma?

There are so many good things about being a grandma, but I think my favorite thing is when I get a hug and I hear a little contented sigh followed by, “I love you, Mema”.  Then my heart melts.  When they all get together at Mema and Papa’s house, I love watching them interact with one another and seeing how much the cousins love each other.  Daniel can hardly wait until Nathan and Tyler get there, but when the three of them are together, it spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?

Living so far away from most of them.  I begin to have “grandbabies” withdrawal symptoms and the only thing that can cure it is seeing the excitement on their faces when they see Mema and Papa driving up in the driveway.

Describe a recent time that one of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.

It was this past Tuesday night.  We had to keep Daniel and Bryan until late – Stacy had a class and Jason had to work late.  I was making a pound cake for staff meeting at work the next day and I knew I had better make two cakes – one to keep at home.  Of course both of them wanted to “help” me.  I let Daniel crack the eggs (one of which ran down the cabinet door onto the floor) into two separate bowls, one for each cake while Bryan was using a pastry brush to grease my tube pans.  Daniel was afraid I would be upset about his dropping an egg, but I told him to clean it up and get another egg out of the refrigerator, that it was no big deal – it was just an egg and I had more.  Then I showed him how to crack the eggs by hitting them against each other over the bowl instead of cracking them on the counter top.  Daniel then wanted to sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and Bryan got upset because he wanted to do a second thing.  So I let him add the eggs to the batter, one at a time and he named the eggs as they went in.  One was Mama, one was Daddy, etc. until all 6 had gone into the bowl.

With the first cake, Bryan wanted to lick the spatula and the bowl with Daniel getting the beater.  With the second cake, they switched off.  He was in the chair with his head over the sink, licking the beater and complaining that Daniel was getting more than he got because Daniel was getting the mixing bowl.  I told him that he had gotten the mixing bowl the first time and Daniel had gotten the beater and now he had the beater and Daniel got the mixing bowl, so they were both getting the same amount.  He got a quizzical look on his face and after he thought about it for a few seconds, he realized that they had gotten the same amount.  He said, “Oh!” and grinned sheepishly.  I couldn’t help but laugh at him.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?

Actually, their favorite thing is getting in the kitchen with me and helping with baking.  My favorite thing is just to have all of them close, no matter what we’re doing.  I re-live my grown children when the little ones are around.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?

Catching up with what has been going on in their lives.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?

The love of “family” with Christ as the center of everything and having confidence in themselves and in their capabilities with none of the cockiness that sometimes goes along with that.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?  Love