Readers tell us: For grandparents, how many grandchildren do you have?

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By Emily Woodbury

I have a very small family. On one side, I was the third grandchild, and on the other side, I am the one and only. I only have two cousins, two aunts, and two parents. My thanksgivings are celebrated with my “framily” (friends who are family) and at Christmas, there are usually only six of us. It’s small, but I like it that way.

Here is a photo of me and my grandmother, Esther. At 90, she still plants her flower garden.

Sometimes I am envious of those who have large families. During my time in New York, I had many opportunities to spend birthdays and other celebrations with huuuuuge Italian families. I love being the spectator at family gatherings. It’s fun to see all the hugs and kisses on each cheek, and to hear the inside jokes and stories of old memories. But after a few hours, my introverted self is tired of talking, and I grab a cannoli and retreat to a nice seat where I can think fondly of my smaller, quieter family gatherings.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. On Wednesday, April 15th, we asked you grandparents how many grandchildren you have (and we could’ve asked you how many great-grandchildren you have too!). The highest percentage of you who voted, 30 percent, have six or more grandchildren – Wow! I’ll let you look at the rest of the numbers in the poll above, but I do want to point out a few comments:

Reader Rory R. wrote, “We have 8 kids, all grown, 15 grandkids, 12 of whom are at least 18, and 6 great grands. They live in CA, AZ, NV and Fl. Add in the relatives who live in WA, LA, TX, MI, OH, PA, NY, WY, CO, and SD and you can see why I had no problem justifying a MH to my spouse.” Yeah, I’d say that’s reason enough!

Joe and Helen have Rory beat in numbers though. They commented, “We have 8 children and they have blessed us with 35 Grandchildren and 31 Great Grands with the 32nd due in July. We started a Family Camping tradition in 1987 and the kids said let’s do this every year. So the eight kids agreed to take turns making the arrangements so we have only had to do the planning every ninth year. Our 34th annual event is scheduled for this June providing the State of WA opens back up by then. Two of our kids now have an RV, two have trailers, some still tent, others rent a cabin. One of the Grand-kids has a pop-up trailer.” That does sound like a fun tradition…but holy smokes, how many hot dogs do you have to buy??

Jim Collins agrees that we should’ve asked about great grandchildren too. He wrote, “You should have asked about grands and great grands. We had two girls + 5 bonus girls, now we have 10 grands, and 14 great grands, and 10 great great grands.” Jim, you have exhausted me.

Well, I think this is a good time for me to sign off here, pick up my phone and check in on my grandma. If you’re reading this and haven’t talked to your grandkids, etc., recently, give them a call to say hello. Although, if you’re Rory, Joe, Helen or Jim, you might need to set aside a few days to do that.

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Debby Bradford
4 months ago

You didn’t have an option for us childfree people of grandparenting age. I have no regrets.

Drew
4 months ago

Great stories. Emily, your Grandmother has a beautiful garden. My Sister is an avid gardener and spends at least an hour each day at it.

Bob p
4 months ago

Personally I only have 5 grandchildren, however when my wife and I married almost 4 years ago I acquired an additional 6 more along with her great grandchildren plus 2 of mine now. I wasn’t thinking about any of this when the order was placed for the first child. Lol