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?