A PROUD grandmother will be waving off eight of her grandchildren on Wednesday as they take up places in every year at Buckstone Primary School.
Christine Brocklehurst from Fairmilehead is the matriarch of a family that boasts eleven grandchildren, some of them just months apart. She and husband Kenny have three children, Kirsten, 41, who works in a bank, Lynsey, 39, a hairdresser and Kevin, 37, who works in the family business.
Christine said: “When I realised the two youngest boys were going in to primary one, I realised that I had a grandchild in every year from P1 to P7.”
Five-year-old cousins Christopher and Kenneth are the newest recruits to the primary school where they join Savannah, six, in P2, Ethan, seven, in P3, Ava, seven, in P4, Jack, eight, in P5, Zara, nine, in P6 and Scarlett, 11, in P7. The eldest grandchild Josh, 12, attends high school while the two youngest, Chloe and Holly, both two years old, are in nursery.
Christine, 63, who runs a security and alarm installation company in Edinburgh with husband Kenneth, son Kevin and her son-in-law acknowledges that Christmases and birthdays “can be pretty hectic” but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She said: “It’s lucky that we all quite like each other. All the family are very close and the kids all love to be with each other and play.”
Christine and Kenny, Kevin, Lynsey and Kirsten and their families all live near each other and see each other nearly every day. Grandparents Christine and Kenny welcome the brood round to theirs as often as they can to give their children a break from parenting duties and to enjoy the fun and chaos the kids bring in their wake.
“They troop down to us at weekends,” said Christine. “It can be pretty full-on as some of them usually stay the night. The shopping bill can be quite high!”
For the children, having so many siblings and cousins at school has been great fun – and there have been no family squabbles or scraps getting in the way of the tight-knit unit. Christine said: “They all get on so well already and look up to Scarlett who keeps an eye out for them all.”
Despite being so close, the grandchildren all have very different personalities and interests. Scarlett is artistic while younger sister Zara loves gymnastics and dancing. Jack and Ethan are sports mad – with football taking the edge. Ava is a dancer like her big cousin Zara and Savannah “should be sent to drama school” she’s such a natural at acting.
Christine thought life was busy when she was a mum-of-three but it was nothing on life with 11 grandchildren.
She gives each of them equal amounts of her attention and says she has to “spread herself out” to do so but she loves spending time with them as individuals or as a collective.
She said: “I really do love being a grandmother. Maybe your outlook is a bit different when you’ve brought your own children up. It’s just so nice seeing them all come along so well and seeing them grow into their own people.”