Grilled Grandma: Bernice

How many children do you have? I have four children, a son who will be 20 in January, and 3 girls, almost 29, 22, and almost 18.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? My oldest daughter has 6 children! They are 10, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 2! 4 girls and 2 boys. Then my son and his fiancé gave me my newest grandbaby on Labor Day this year, a beautiful baby girl!

Any great grandchildren?
Lord, no! I am a young grandma, as I had my oldest daughter when I was 16 and she had her first at 18, so... do the math, lol!

What do your grandchildren call you?  I am affectionately known as Nana.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? The littlest one I get to see once or twice a week as my son still lives here and fiancé and baby come over to visit. The other 6 I get to see once or twice a month. I try my best to plan a family dinner once a month, but it doesn't always work out!

Beyond the initial elation, what most concerned you upon hearing you'd soon be a grandma?
My situation was a little different as the circumstances around my becoming a grandma were not the best at the time, however, the situation turned around and I was happy for my daughter.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Getting to love and spoil them... No, truly, I love seeing my children become parents. It is very rewarding!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Only being able to make suggestions of how I think something ought to be done. I like to think I know the best way to do everything. I know ultimately I have to let them make their own decisions about their children!

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
My oldest daughter teaches her kids to use anatomically correct terms for their body parts. My 2- and 3-year-old granddaughters love the fact that yelling v-a-g-i-n-a in public gets lots of attention from other people! My daughter just tries to ignore it, otherwise they'll yell all the louder!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
They just love to talk! They tell me about all the cool things they have been doing and reading and learning.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? They like to show me all the stuff they have made at school and the younger ones always want to draw pictures for me.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? I talk to some of my grandchildren on the phone occasionally, and now my oldest has a private Facebook page for him to be able to keep up with his extended family out of state. I am lucky that I get to see them fairly often, as opposed to if they lived out of state.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? The love for one another and the love of learning. Education may be something that you acquire in school, but learning is a lifetime process. And the confidence to become the person they were meant to be!

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Caring
What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? To sit still and listen

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Enjoy every minute with them, they grow up faster than your own kids!

Does Bernice have a website or blog? I do! My main blog is Living the Balanced Life. My husband and I also have started a blog to tell about our travel adventures, Empty Nesters Off the Chain!