My sister became a grandmother last week. I’m not a grandmother, so I’m a wee bit jealous she gets to nuzzle a newborn and buy cute, itty, bitty things for the new guy in her life. I am delighted to be a great aunt for the first time, and it takes me back to when the little guy’s dad, my nephew was born, when I was a fifteen-year-old high school student. I was pretty excited about that, too.
We’re young, I think, for titles starting grand- and great- and younger, I think, than our parents or own grandparents seemed when they earned these designations. My own grandmother seemed grandmotherly my whole life, certainly. We called her Granny Hig (short for Higgins). I mean, EVERYONE called her Granny Hig, even those not related to her. (Except for my father, her son-in-law. He called her simply “Hig.”)
I don’t know what my sister will be called as a grandmother. Her kids call their grandparents (her husband’s parents) Grammy and Pop. Everyone has names for grandparents: Meemaw, Pop-Pop, Oma and Opa, etc. My cousins’ grandmother on their dad’s side was Granny Pop. I thought that was cute. My dad campaigned pretty hard to be called Big Daddy when his daughters were pregnant. He’s still Grandpa.
Some grandmothers are so sensitive to the grandma-stigma that they insist on some alternative nickname that has nothing to do with grand-motherhood at all. My former mother-in-law began referring to herself in the third person immediately. “Would you like Grandma to get that for you?”
I haven’t given it a lot of consideration just yet. In my head, I’m still about 28 years old, so it seems like a faraway need.
What do you want to be called as a grandparent, or what are you called, if you already have some doubtless, adorable and brilliant grandchildren? Does it matter to you?
What did you call your grandparents?
For generations, my family started families at around 20-22, so my grandmother was only 43 when she became a first-time grandmother (to me) and my great-grandmother was in her early 60s. Oh, and my great-great grandfather was in his 80s when I was born.
And what were they all called?
I wasn’t excited about being called Grandma or Grandmother so when my grands started arriving I suggested Grammy. But little ones have a mind of their own and very quickly it was shortened to Mimi which I love especially because they chose it!
Mimi! That’s another good one.
We were traditionalist and called our grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. Later in life, I referred to my grandma as Gram or Granny. I have been giving this book to friends that have become grandparents — many of whom feel they are too young to be called Grandma or Grandpa. http://www.amazon.com/Call-Hoppa-Grandparents-Guide-Choosing/dp/0615194621/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412813285&sr=1-1&keywords=call+me+hoppa
I once met my maternal grandfather, and have no memory what we called him, but I knew my paternal grandmother, and she was always “Grandmother.” She was in her 70s when I was born, but lived to be 101. She was a native of Sweden, and I wish I could have used the Swedish name: farmor (father’s mother), as opposed to mormor (mother’s mother), and, for the grandfathers, morfar and farfar. Mormor sounds a bit like Mimi.