Grilled Grandma: Janie

How many children do you have? Two sons and two daughters.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have three from my daughter Krystle ( one girl and two boys - 7, 4, and 9 months) and one on the way from my step-daughter Anna (it's a boy).

Any great grandchildren?
That blessing is still a ways off for me, though I am looking forward to it.

What do your grandchildren call you? My grandkids have always called me GG. Not sure where it came from just started with my my granddaughter when she was young and kinda stuck.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?
I really can not think of actually having a concern. When I think on it now I think it would have to be that I am able to be there for them whenever and wherever they may need me to be.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Three of my grandkids live in Tennessee (I am in Oklahoma). That is a distance of approximately 700 miles yet despite that distance last year I was able to see them a total of 9 times. Before they moved (2 years ago) I was only a mere 20 minutes from them. I was blessed with watching them often while their momma worked. It has been an adjustment not being as close to the new grandson. My step-daughter lives much closer so we anticipate seeing them often.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? All the hugs you get has got to be the best thing. However the fact that you are not the parent is sort of nice also. I love to spoil them rotten (within reason of course).

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Watching them grow.
Was the same with my kids. Wanting to keep them from all the bad things yet knowing that it is an impossible task. Accepting the fact that sooner or later they will have their feelings hurt or worse. Just knowing that sometimes all you can do is just be there for them. And that never really goes away no matter how old they become.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Laughter is a gift that my grand kids have given to me many times. Whether it is my oldest grandson telling me one of his make believe stories or my grand daughter and her logical thinking. A good example is when my grand daughter lost her first tooth. It was loose for some time and her mom kept wanting to help her. The main reason for this was so that she would know when she put it under her pillow and thus be able to exchange it with coins that the tooth fairy would bring. My grand daughter and her desire to test what seems to be everything had other ideas. After going to bed one night my grand daughter arose and went into the bathroom and commenced to pull her own tooth The next morning she came into breakfast a bit upset and when her mother asked her what was the matter she explained what she had done. When her mother asked her why she did that and did not let her help her, my granddaughter responded that she wanted to put the tooth under her pillow before anyone knew about it to see if the tooth fairy was real or if it was just her mom and dad putting money under her pillow.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? It seems that each one has something different. My granddaughter it is most definitely working in the kitchen. Whether it is baking cookies or making supper she loves to get her hands into all of it. My grandson loves the outdoors and helps a lot with my garden as well as tending the birds and animals outdoors.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
My grandson and I have to go for sushi anytime I go and see him. It has quickly become a tradition and "our thing" As for my granddaughter it is usually playing games or watching a favorite movie. She is quite the reader so often we plan a trip to the book store and pick out a new favorite book also.  The baby is the same no matter where we are. I hold him as much as he will let me.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We speak on the phone often or occasionally Skype via the internet. Yet my grand daughter and I also write letters back and forth. A lost art that we both have grown to really love.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
That they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to. They just may have to realize that a bit of extra effort is required for some other things they may wish for. Life is too short to sit around wishing for something and expecting it to just drop in your lap. If you want it go out and figure out how you are going to get it. Also to never get too caught up in things that you lose site of the little things that can make you smile.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Dependable - I want them to know that I am will always be there for them as much as I possibly can be.

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? Hard question... Much like being a parent I think grandparenting is a constant evolution with the child. Each one has their own nature and ways. I am sure as time passes there may be things that I would have wished I had realized earlier yet at this time I can not think of any.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Sit back and enjoy. Being a grandparent is going to be one of the best experiences you will ever have. It will bring you more joy, tears, smiles, and laughter than you ever thought possible. And it all begins with the very first time you lay eyes on that baby. You can never have enough grandchildren.

Janie's blog bears the subhead "Words from someone on her journey to find the way and enjoying herself while doing so." Join her on her journey at Mother Moon.