Grilled Grandma: Caryn

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 Caryn:

How many children do you have? I have three adult children. Our daughters, Lyndsey and Rachel, are both married. Our son Grant is currently in Mexico serving a mission for our church. We are empty nesters!!!

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? One: Jack, 1 year and 2 months. He was born on his mom's (my oldest daughter's) 27th birthday, so I became a mom and a grandmother for the first time on the same date!!!

Any great grandchildren? No

What do your grandchildren call you? Grammie

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? No concerns, just excitement to be a part of this new generation of our family.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I try to visit at least once every three months.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Being able to be completely absorbed in everything my grandson is doing without having to worry about what "I should be doing." My favorite thing to do is just sit and watch Jack do whatever. I never had that kind of freedom when I was "the mom."

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? The distance. I live in California and so far, Jack has lived in Colorado, Utah, and now Washington.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. I love the faces that Jack makes. They are never the same and some are quite hysterical.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Play!!! Just sit down on the floor and get down to Jack's level and follow his lead.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Go on walks and discover.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We do Skype and talk on the phone but Jack's attention span is pretty short so I'm not always quite sure if these interactions are making a difference.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? That they are a part of cool, extended family that is there for them, no matter what.

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

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? Everything I anticipated has pretty much held true. There have been no surprises.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Stand back and observe. Don't offer advice unless asked for. This can be tricky because you have so much experience you want to share. Let the new parents experiment with their new parenting skills on their own. There will be plenty of time later on when they will come to you. Be patient and just observe.

Do you have a website or blog? What is the URL and what is it about?TheMidLifeGuru: Making the most of life after 50.

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