By Dale Bliss
In times past, grandparents were for mini vacations, special treats and extravagant birthday and Christmas gifts. Nowadays, it seems more and more grandparents are becoming extended parents. They are either completely raising the grandchildren or at least helping with school, extra circular activities, homework, school projects and going to teacher conferences.
Tracie Goff – known as Nonnie to her five “grandloves” – is one of these grandmothers who acts as extended parents and helps with her grandchildren. Some days Nonnie sits in four separate car lines to get her grandchildren to and from school. She acts as the backup transportation system when their parents cannot get them to school or pick them up at the end of the school day.
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“Another thing I help with is getting ready for the school year,” says Nonnie. “The supply list seems to get longer and longer each year, and they outgrow their clothes so fast. I look for sales to help bring down the cost.” Nonnie also has a special craft room in her home. “There have been many times where the grands will come down and ask for supplies or ask if I will help them with a project,” she says.
Each of her five grandchildren has special and unique needs. “Each grandlove is unique in their own way and has their own likes and dislikes,” she says. “I have a cowgirl, a baseball player, a preacher man, a scientist and an adventurer. Helping meet their needs and honoring their personalities is something I enjoy.”