Grilled Grandma: Pauline

How many children do you have? I have four wonderful children. I'm quite in awe of them and so proud of the fine adults they have become. Son aged 43, daughter 41, son 38, daughter 33.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Five grandchildren and another due in January. Michael, the oldest, and my only grandson to date, is 16. There are three 11 year old girls, twins Krystal and Shayde and Jami (born within a month of each other), and just turned seven year old Georgia. I say there has been a "grandchild drought" but the drought has broken! Can't wait to have another baby grandchild.

Any great grandchildren? No, I'll have to wait a while before I have that joy.

What do your grandchildren call you? Granny. When Michael was born my daughter asked me what I wanted to be called and I chose the name by which I knew my beloved grandmother.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I live on a farm with my oldest son and his three daughters so I see them often. Usually Georgia gets off the school bus and comes straight to my house, one of the twins sometimes comes with her.  I've been house-sitting a distance from the farm for over a month now and I do so miss those visits. I usually go home a couple of afternoons a week to get my share of laughter and love.  

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Oh gosh. So many good things.... but the best? I think it's just the way my heart lights up when I see them.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Being discreet with advise, I think. Judging when is a good time to pass on a few words of 'wisdom'. Learning to accept new parenting methods, perhaps?

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. I blogged about it not long ago. I laughingly said to the seven year old, "Oh, you're a little monster!" She replied, "I can't be a monster. I'm a girl!"

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? They all like to do different things. Michael just likes to go out on the farm with my son. The girls, when they are all together, invariably put on a concert, dancing and singing. They like to play American Idol and dress up in my scarves and pieces of material from my sewing stash. I was once Simon Powell on the judging panel but refuse to play him now after overhearing the youngest one very sadly telling the others, "Simon was mean to me!" Some of them like playing card games or making pictures or cards. Some of them like to bake with me.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I'm so much a part of the everyday scene at my son's house that it's just business as usual. When I visit my daughter and her two children it's usually a case of sit back and watch them going about their everyday lives and trying to keep up with what's going on. They lead such busy lives.  

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Now I should feel guilty. I don't do anything to maintain the bond. It's there. That question is food for thought, actually. I will have to consider whether I'm taking it for granted or whether it does need nourishment.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? To put it simply, to appreciate the love of family. To know that they 'belong". To be tolerant and accepting of each others' differences. I'd like them to know they are loved unconditionally. And to know that there's a great, big, wonderful world out there waiting for them to discover it.  

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? I adored my maternal grandmother but, even now, I could never say in one word why. And I can't think of one word my grandchildren might apply to me. My daughter asked my grandson this same question a couple of months ago and he said "insightful". I like that but I think the word would change as they grow older. If the others grew to use the same word when they are 16 I'd be happy. I guess loving and caring would be nice but I'd hope that would just be so taken for granted that it wouldn't dawn on them.

Take a virtual visit to New Zealand via Pauline's lovely blog, Pauline's Paddock.