Growing up, Michelle Staubach Grimes could count on at least one trip to Hawaii each year to attend the Pro Bowl — just one of the perks of being a daughter of football legend Roger Staubach. Now 46, Michelle is a hero in her own right. A champion for literacy, Michelle is set to launch her self-published children’s book, Where is Pidge?, this month. Though she’s been busy speaking at various elementary schools across Dallas-Fort Worth to promote reading and writing, Michelle is a mom — a proud one at that — first and foremost. We caught up with the author to pick her brain about everything from life with her hubby, John, and three kids — Jeffrey, 16, Gracie, 14, and Emma, 12 — to growing up with a famous father.
What was the last thing you did before this interview? Talked to my husband.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Put my contacts in.
What time is your alarm clock set for? 4:45am. I snooze for 15 minutes, and I try to get up at 5.
If your life were a song, what would it be? “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
If your life were a movie, what would it be? One Fine Day — that Michelle Pfeiffer movie where she’s running all over the place …
Three things in your purse besides your cell phone and wallet: Journal, eyeglasses, pens.
What’s one thing you can’t live without? Contacts or glasses!
How long did it take you to finish your book? Fifteen months from drafting through the whole production process.
Why did you choose the name Pidge? Pidge is my mom’s nickname. That’s what she was called when she was growing up.
Aside from promoting literacy, what else do you support? Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I lost my best friend to cystic fibrosis. Also Genesis Women’s Shelter. I’m passionate about helping abused women and children, and my husband and I together support educational programs.
Three words to describe your dad: Driven, compassionate, competitive.
Second-favorite quarterback of all time: Troy Aikman.
Texas Stadium or AT&T Stadium: I do miss the old one, but I prefer the new one now.
First thing you notice about people when you meet them: Their smile.
What’s one rule your kids ignore? Picking up their stuff around the house.
What’s the one rule they’re never allowed to break? Not telling me where they are or going somewhere without asking me.
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would it be? My family: my siblings and my parents.
Favorite food: Pasta, but I try not to eat it!
Favorite restaurant: Mesero at Lovers and Inwood. They have a really good ceviche.
Three things moms should not feel guilty about: Not cooking dinner, finishing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen.
Question you are asked the most: “What was it like growing up with a famous dad?”
So, what was it like? I don’t know any differently. We had a really normal life. I’d say it’s a lot different for children of athletes now because of the media coverage and press. But in terms of when I was growing up, you still had your privacy, and my parents were very simple and family-oriented, so [my family] didn’t seem a whole lot different from my friends’.
Favorite books you read to your children (when they were younger): There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer, Eric Carle books and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.
Favorite book that you read as a child: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Something about that book resonated with me. I still have my copy that was given to me in 1973.
Highest parenting moment: When my son, Jeffrey, received an award from his freshman basketball team, the Ranger Heart award. For me, sports are more than just being about the best athlete. It showed that he was caring and compassionate. It’s awards like that that make me the most proud.
Lowest parenting moment: Critiquing test scores and jumping to conclusions; being too harsh …
Good habit you’d like to pass on to your children: Empathy.
Your bad habit you hope they won’t pick up: Being scattered and disorganized.
Last gift you gave a friend: A journal/book about life. I gave it to a high school student who is going through a very tough time.
Favorite country to visit: Italy.
Last country you visited: Jamaica for my parents’ 70th birthdays two years ago.
Best way to de-stress: Just be at my house alone or go get a foot massage!
One superpower you wish you had: Running super fast.
Best surprise you ever received: Finding out that my firstborn was a boy. We didn’t know whether we were going to have a boy or a girl [until the baby was born].
Best surprise you’ve ever given: I gave my husband a painting of the kids that I had commissioned.
Best thing that happened today: I just finished the final word/text changes to my story [Where is Pidge?].
Published March 2015