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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Grandparent looking for a name

Grandparent looking for a name

Being the cool, up to date person I am trying to be, I was looking at facebook a few days ago and saw a request by an expecting first time grandmother for a name her future grandchild could call her.

That desperate plea for assistance reminded me that I also struggled with that problem almost eighteen years ago.

I even wrote an article about it in the Gazette.

Having received the news that I was going to be a grandfather, I knew my life would forever change. I now had the chance to see myself in this new role and looked forward to the challenge and opportunity to be someone special to someone special.

Like the lady on facebook, I wondered what the baby should call me. For the first and only time in our lives we get to choose a name for ourselves. That is a major responsibility. One that deserved a great deal of thought and research.

Growing up I guess I was a little unlucky in that I only remember one grandparent we called “Grannie”. But she was special. I remember her sitting on the side of her bed smoking a pipe and telling all of us kids ghost stories.

It's funny how you forget a lot of things in life but the memories of times with your grandparents last forever.

My folks became grandparents when I was very young. They were called “Nonnie” and “Pop”. I never learned how those names originated.

Another set of grandparents in my family were “Me maw” and “Pe-paw”.

I knew I did not want to be called “Pe-paw”!

As I joined the ranks of the people old enough to be grandparents I began noticing the names they were called by their grandchildren. For grandmothers the name I heard most was “Meme”. I think the grandpas were called “grandpa” or “Pops” or “Paw Paw”. That's the name I chose for myself.

For my wife the choice was between “Maw Maw Dot” or “Honey”. Now after seventeen years since our first grandchild was born, all of our eight grandchildren call us “Paw Paw” and “Maw Maw Dot”!

I have learned that selecting a name is a very difficult task. Normally whatever the first child calls you the rest will follow. Except in Dot's family. The first few grandchildren called her mom “Mamouche', and the last few called her “MeMe”.

Now the best advice I can give the lady about to become a grandmother is the important thing I've learned since becoming a grandparent is not what they call you … it's that they call you!