Sharing My Story
We recently asked GRAND readers to share their stories with us. Here are some of the responses.
It’s always hard to stay engaged with tween and teen grandchildren, so I am always looking for ways to tap into their interests as much as engage them in mine. Recently when my 12-year-old grandson was here for a day off school, I considered how he would like to spend time, rather than having my own agenda. He loves technology and is in a program in a middle school that is focused on S.T.E.M. I asked him about anything new he was learning and he invited me to sit at the computer with him as he showed me how to embed videos and audio into power points. Some of it I knew, but some I didn’t. I was amazed at the speed and facility with which he clicked here and there to find what he needed, as well as, his openness to using music I liked to go with his animation. When we were finished, he asked me if I had enjoyed my tutoring session. I could honestly say I did, and I can use the new tips in my work. Then we headed out to lunch – at his favorite place. A successful day!
BILLYE J. MOUTRA
Dear Grand Magazine,
I am a very proud grandmother of nine grandchildren. I never thought I could love so much. Our grandchildren range in age from one to seventeen years old. One of our grandchildren is a sweet “angel”.
My husband and I were the owners of The Bearrington School, a private school that we operated for more than twenty-eight years. We were blessed that we were able to spend every school day with all of them, except the three youngest. After we closed the school in 2012, I knew I had to do something that was as gratifying as having the opportunity to see my grandchildren almost every day. I home-schooled three of the grandchildren and I volunteered at the other grandchildren’s schools. This gave me an opportunity to see them at home and at school. Now that all of the grandchildren (except for the baby) are in school, I volunteer at five public schools. I am on the board of the PTO and PTA at three of the schools. I was the Volunteer of the Year at two of the schools.
Each morning, my day begins at 5:30 a.m. Breakfast is served at 6:25 a.m. and Nana’s Taxi leaves at 6:50 a.m. Before I drop them off, I tell them three things: (1) Keep God first. (2) Make wise choices. (3) Do something kind.
The first stop is high school at 7:15 a.m. The second stop is the elementary school. Most mornings we have a few extra minutes, so we stop by the Magic Mailbox (the name that the grandchildren made up) before I drop them off. These minutes are spent making sure that they have everything they need, singing songs, or reading stories. After I drop them off at 7:50 a.m., I’m headed to two middle schools. They decided that they would take turns when it comes to who gets dropped off first. The first drop-off is at 8:25 a.m. and the second drop-off is at 8:35 a.m. After my last drop-off, I volunteer at different schools depending on their needs. My husband does the afternoon pickup and I pick up one of the granddaughters from high school who was dropped off by her mother. Once the grandchildren get home from school, everyone gets a snack. Then they take a little break before they start homework. Everyone is with their parents by 6:00 p.m.
We go to all of their programs and extra activities. If they forget something, we can get it to them right away. If they get sick, the schools know that we are on the way. We also eat lunch with them each month.
This may sound like a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Many of our friends are retired and we talk about what we do during the week. Some of them sit around the house all day and some have very busy lifestyles. Some of them do not have grandchildren and some of them have grandchildren that they do not get to see very often. My husband and I have the best of both worlds. We have grandchildren and we get to see them all of the time! What a blessing our grandchildren are to us! We love them to the moon and back!
Billye J. Moutra
A Proud Grandmother