Grilled Grandma: Donna

What is a Grilled Grandma? A Grilled Grandma is a grandma whom I've grilled with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Here is Grilled Grandma Donna:

How many children do you have? Two daughters, Melissa (31) and Cryssy (30)

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Two grandsons – David, 4, and Isaac, 2

Any great grandchildren? No

What do your grandchildren call you? Nana (pronounced ‘Nanny”)

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? First true concern was that because they are from a ‘mixed’ marriage, how would they be treated. Don’t get me wrong – we love our son in law, he is a good man and a great father, but well, society is sometimes not as tolerant and they should be and so we were concerned about that.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Definitely not as often as I want to – but we do skype a lot (once a week at least) and then at least once a year – they are currently stationed in Hawaii. Son in law is a Soldier in the U.S. Army

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Hmmm, the best thing about being a Nana is the unconditional love and being a part of something greater than anything else in the world (with the exception of God, of course!) The hugs and kisses and snuggles are out of this world!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Hmmm, most challenging thing is balancing knowing what is the right thing and sometimes what is the most fun thing…….:-)

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. They always make me laugh but most recently I was talking to our youngest grandson, Isaac (age 2), about him picking out his pumpkin for Halloween – I asked him if he was going to get a big pumpkin and he answered “No Nana – I am getting a little squirt pumpkin!” His nickname is “Squirt” after the small Turtle in ‘Finding Nemo’ – Isaac was 12 month premature and so he is nicknamed “Squirt.”

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Hmmm, we love to bake and they love to eat the batter. They like to come into bed with me early in the morning and snuggle!

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Love to read to them and then let them “read” to me – they like to take their index finger and follow the sentences and “create” their own stories. Great moments!

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We Skype every week and we talk on the phone almost every day. We send cards and postcards and we also send ‘care packages.”

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? They are loved unconditionally and that I am proud of them and they can do anything that they set their mind to.

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

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? That it was sooo much fun and if I could have skipped the parent stage and gone right to the “Nana” stage – might have done that too – laughing here!

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Love the time that you have with them – that is the priority. They grow up way too fast!

Dear Readers: If you'd like to nominate a grandma for grilling—yourself or any other grandma—please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you!