Sept. 9 is Grandparents Day. One grandmother, Virginia Paulick of Clarendon Hills, is just one who believes in the importance of grandparents in their grandchildren’s lives. She was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, and moved to Illinois 33 years ago. Her grandson, William Clark, 15 months, lives in Lisle.
1 How did you end up here? Before [my husband Thomas and I] met, he went to Chile with the Peace Corps. We met when he returned 10 years later. We went back to the states and married that September. I didn’t speak one word of English. That was the first time I left my family and that was sad.
2 What role do you play in your grandson’s life? I help take care of him, baby-sit and help my daughter. I am in charge of William when she has to do things around the house.
3 What is the hardest part of being a grandmother? I would like to see [my grandson] everyday, but sometimes that is impossible. He runs to me when he sees me and gives me his hands. It’s just beautiful. When you think that something will be good for your grandchild but your child doesn’t think that’s the case ... that’s difficult.
4 What’s your favorite thing to do with your grandson? [When I] put him to sleep, he is so peaceful then. It makes me feel relaxed when I watch him sleeping.
5 What is a grandparent’s most important role? To keep traditions … to teach them some values. The storytelling my mother told my daughter and my grandmother told me, it’s a tradition that has been passed from one generation to the other.
6 What lessons/values do you hope to pass along to your grandson? To me, it’s the religious values. I don’t know what to call that, moral values—teach them to be honest. He’s too little yet, but I pray with him.