Grilled Grandma: Linda

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 Linda:

How many children do you have? I am blessed to have four children—two of mine and two of my hubby’s.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? We have two amazing grandchildren: Jaxon is 3 ½ and Makiya will be three in January.

Any great grandchildren? Not yet!

What do your grandchildren call you? When my granddaughter was just learning to talk she used to call me “Mama” but now I’m Grandma to both of them.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? Concern? I suppose the only concern is that I live too far away from them. We hope to remedy that in a couple of years when we retire though.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Not often enough! I try to see them every couple of months. They grow and change so quickly I hate to miss any more than I have to while we’re living so far away.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Oh my, I’m not sure how to answer that. Being a grandma is the greatest joy in my life! I love getting down on the floor and playing with them, reading to them, snuggling with them, and seeing the world through their young eyes. It’s also a joy to watch my daughter in the role of mommy!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? For now, it’s just the distance between us and that I can’t see them more often. Thank goodness for the miracles of email and Skype!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Just this past summer we had our grandson with us and we set up a big inflatable pool in the backyard. We had a blast watching him play in that pool and, later, running through the sprinkler with Granddad! In the few days he was with us our yard looked like a totally different place than it normally does because it had toys scattered all over. I was in paradise.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I like to read to them. It’s important to me that they grow up with an appreciation for books and reading and they’re both well on the way toward that. Aside from that, any time I’m with them is my favorite time no matter what we are doing.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Skype and phone calls. I love answering my phone and hearing a little voice say “Hi Grandma!” In fact I’ve saved a voice mail that I listen to often. It’s the best cure for a bad day I know of!

One time, a few days after our last visit, my daughter brought her laptop upstairs and let Makiya know we were going to Skype. Her response “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this for days!” tickled my heart.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? As I said I hope they grow up with a love of reading. It’s also important to me that they have a sense of where they fit in this world and history and legacy is also important.

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? Hmmm. In the beginning I was worried they wouldn’t know I was their grandma because I didn’t get to see them every day. That was something I needn’t have been concerned about.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Enjoy! Spend as much time with them as possible! It’s the best experience in the world!

Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? Yes, I have a blog called A Slice of Life Writing where I write about a variety of topics ranging from adoption (I am an adoptee), memoir writing, family, gardening, life in general, and of course grandchildren. 

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!