Today we get to read the higher wisdom from my friend Yaya that only comes from being a mom and a grandma.

If any of you are ever able to convince Yaya to leave a comment on your blog, you're in for a real treat, and I think you'll see what I mean, as you read below.


Please introduce yourself to us!

My Name is Kathy, but to my Grandchildren and my blog, I'm YaYa. Yia Yia (the correct spelling) is Greek for Grandma. I just made the spelling easier for everyone! No matter how it's spelled it's a wonderful title. I love being a Grandma to 9 Grandkiddos. I have 4 grown up sons. I've been married to my Chiropractor hubby for 38 (39 in Aug.) years. I'm a surgical technologist...a fancy name for a "scrub nurse". I grew up in Chicago, but now live the small town life and work at our community hospital.

What is your earliest memory? 

I can remember visiting relatives in California when I was 3 and sitting poolside with my Aunt. I also remember going to Disneyland...it had just opened up in 1956. I screamed my head off on the "Moon Ride"... I hated flying even then!

What are important experiences you've wanted for your children and grandchildren? 

I think it's important for children to know their Grandparents and their heritage. I think it makes a diffference in your life if you know where you came from and who helped shape your life. We can learn so much from our elders. I'm glad my kids and their kids have loving extended families.

What is the best lesson your parents taught you?

To have a strong work ethic. To not give up and my Mom's motto has always been "Just do it" when faced with an unpleasant task. (Nike stole it from her!) My Dad taught us that family is the most important thing. He always made us feel like we were his greatest accomplishment!

What is the best lesson your children and grandchildren have taught you? 

They taught me that I have the strength to get through anything! They taught me patience, understanding and forgiveness. They also taught me to always check to make sure nobody (their bodies) weren't hiding in the back seat to jump up and scare the heck out of me.

My Grandkiddos have taught me to take the time to just sit and play... oh, and how to play "Angry Birds"!

What did you love doing with your family as a kid?

We always took 2-3 wk vacations in the summer. We camped across the U.S. a couple of times and saw the deep south, the east coast and Canada. Both my parents worked full-time and having them all day for weeks at a time was great fun. During the winter we plotted out the route and saved our allowance to buy junky trinkets. We pulled a pop-up camper that my parents bought used and re-did....This always makes me laugh when I remember that after the outside was painted a neutral beige color, Mom stenciled flowers on the door and the words, "The Love Inn"... yep, it was the 60's!

Is there a story your parents liked to tell about you as a kid? 

My Mom always said I walked at 9 months and was potty trained by the time I was one. I also got a "Chatty Cathy" doll for my 6th birthday..There was a reason for that!

Did you ever feel inadequacies as a parent? How did you overcome them?

All the time! I used to tell myself that if parents in the deepest part the jungle could have kids that survived, I should be able to do it!

I think you always can look back and find things you wish you could do over. My boys are wonderful men and good Dads. I just told them to do things better than we did and their kids would turn out fine!

Grandchildren get the best of our parenting skills. We are old enough to realize that time passes so fast and we can take the time to put other things aside to focus on them and enjoy them without the stress of being the parent in charge! Plus, they are always happy to see us and giving gifts to buy their love really works! (just kidding!)

What do you miss most about having young kids? 

Having them all under the same roof, safe and happy and eating dinner all together. The everyday interaction. Hugs, laughter, silly things they used to say. Wait, come to think of it, they still say silly things!

How do you wish your kids' childhood had been more like yours?

We live where my husband grew up and his family is much smaller than mine. I wish my kids could have had the same giant get-togethers like I did for every holiday and birthday. We would visit my family as much as possible when the kids were little, but it's not the same. It took me a long time to get used to quiet Christmas celebrations!

What do you love most about your kids?

I love what wonderful men they turned out to be. Smart, good husbands and fathers. I enjoy them as adults. They are funny and enjoyable to be around. They are always there if we need help with something. Kind of a role reversal! What I love most about my Grandchildren are the smiles I see when they see us! I love seeing my kids with their kids...the circle being complete.

Thank you, Yaya! 

Am I the only one still giggling over that picture of her young boys? I'm also happy to see that they all do get potty-trained eventually! What was your favorite part?

Interested in doing a Darndest Days interview? Just let me know!