Grilled Grandma: Anita

How many children do you have? I have 2 girls.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have 4 grandchildren. Josiah is 11, Mya is 9, Jacob is 6 and Levi is 5.

Any great grandchildren? Not yet, but I’m hoping to have a bunch of them one of these days!

What do your grandchildren call you? I was named the Real Grandma by my grandkids. They were naming off all their grandma’s and counting us. Grandma followed by a last name usually. But when it came to me I was just Grandma. So I asked them what do you call me, they said “You’re the Real Grandma!”

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? All the time! All of them live locally so I see them often. Both of my girls are in college attending night classes so I babysit while they are at school. We have sleepovers regularly. If I go too long (3-4 days) without seeing them I really start to miss them!

What is the best thing about being a grandma? I absolutely love that I’m “Grandma” and not the mom. I can play and have fun and I can spoil them (a little bit) and it’s okay. I like dreaming their dreams with them and making memories that I hope will last forever. They are still young enough that they think grandma can do just about anything!

I have started a tradition with the kids we call our “special day”. This is a day once a year that I take them all by their self and we go do something that they get to pick out. We’ve been to the North Pole (amusement park), horse back riding, the movies, a trip to the Lego store, a frog workshop; but best of all was last year when they all picked the same thing and agreed to share the day. We went to the Renaissance Festival. I made them costumes and we had the most fantastic day ever!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Keeping up! I think that the best exercise program you could ever have would be to follow the kids around and do everything they do!

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. We were driving with all the kids on one of our outings and Jacob asked Grandpa if remembered to use his ‘signickle’. It took all of us about 10 minutes to figure out he was talking about ‘turn signals’!

I was asking Josiah if he would let me live with him when I’m old. He thought seriously about it for a minute then replied “Only if I don’t smell like old people!”

When we we were window shopping at ToyRUs one afternoon the kids were asking if they could get something. I told them not this time. So one of them asked if I was “filthy stinking rich” could they get it? Not only did it make me laugh, but the other people near by who heard it were laughing too. We spent the rest of that window shopping trip dreaming and picking out whatever they wanted and when Grandma is filthy stinking rich that’s what they are going to get. Each of them have that one thing that they are still holding onto as the thing they are going to get when I’m finally “filthy stinking rich”. Mya asked the the other day, “How’s that getting rich thing working?” Levi suggested that I do some chores for Grandpa Dare (my dad) because he pays you money for doing jobs!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? We love to bake together. We have been baking for several years. When it was just 2 it was easy, but try to roll out a pie dough with 8 extra hands! The best part is when we put our “secret ingredient” in our cookies. They would put on my aprons and we would make a mess. For the last year or so they have been asking for their own aprons, so this Christmas I made each of them an apron that matched their personalities and in an adult size. I’m hoping that they will wear these for years to come and remember how they use to bake with Grandma.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I love to tuck them into bed. We have our own song we sing:

Grandma loves me this I know
for she always tells me so
I am hers and she is mine
Grandma loves me all the time

Yes, Grandma loves me
Yes, Grandma loves me
Yes, Grandma loves me
She always tells me so

It is sung to the tune of “Jesus loves me”. We’ve been singing it for 11 years! The phrase “.....all the time” is always sung with great enthusiasm.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? It’s not an issue since we are together so often. I don’t know what I would do if they ever moved away........

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? The knowledge of how important family is in our lives. I want them to know and appreciate all their immediate and extended family. To know how they can be their own person. To know that they can do and be anything they want. To be ladies and gentlemen.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?
Love. I want them to remember how much I love them and when they are adults thinking about me, I want them to think that I always made them feel like they were the most important things in the whole world. That’s how my Grandma Cox always made me feel, and she still does at 97.