As a mother, who absolutely had a blast at raising my children, I often thought about the time when I would become a Grandma.
Bob and I only dated for a couple weeks before he asked me to marry him. Both of our parents kicked it in high gear and in a month we had a church wedding with 300 guests and we were off and running. To what?, we didn’t know. Still don’t. But 37 years later we are still running, together. My daddy was a rancher and commented that he was glad we got married when the price of cows were high. We apparently were a four-cow wedding. Back then guests were served cake, punch, mints and nuts. Does anyone remember that?
It was a little over a year when we welcomed our first child. On April 14th, we were finishing our taxes in the labor room, and on the 15th, we received our little tax deduction, a baby girl. She was the first of our three children.
We spread the birth of our children out over a number of years. I am sure there are pluses to having siblings close together as opposed to having siblings farther apart. We chose the latter simply because I didn’t want them all to leave the house around the same time.
We wanted to have ample time to adjust to that empty nest thing we heard about. We thoroughly enjoyed each child and basked in their milestones respectively, and spreading them out would allow us to do just that, not realizing that the year our oldest would be a senior in high school would be the year our second child would enter junior high and the youngest would be a kindergartener!
Of course, even the best-laid plans go astray. All three of our children got married one year right after the other. Our family had a wedding in 2011, 2012 and yes…2013! So much for spreading their ages out into a manageable and tidy little timeline.
Well, you know what comes next, bundles of joy, straight out of heaven.
Grandma! My new title sounded regal, mature, dated and traditional. I searched for another name that sounded more youthful, vibrant, cute, and one that would make me feel less…well, old. After all, 50 is the new 30 and so on.
The endearing names that I came up with were repetitions of a single syllable that is easier for our little cherubs to pronounce. However, I thought about my grandchildren turning 14 someday. What if they weren’t comfortable with that baby name when they had to address me in front of their friends? I struggled against regal tradition and wanted a ‘cute/cool’ grandma name.
Then I came across a meme on my Facebook newsfeed that caused me to have an epiphany about the importance of the name Grandma. “It’s such a grand thing to be the mother of a mother and that’s why the world calls her Grandmother.”
Later in the day, I went to pick up my 3-year-old grandson at Preschool and was standing in a sea of moms and dads waiting to pick up their little ones. In the quietness of the lobby, I hear “Grandma!” in a loud and excited voice. Here comes my grandson running towards me with a big smile and ready to give me a bear-hug, as everyone turned to see who he was running to.
At that moment, I was the coolest person in the room. Everyone there knew who I was and I loved the acknowledgement! My grandson had instantly defined the name “Grandma” as cute, cool, adorable, endearing, fun, lively, sweet, esteemed and beloved, because that’s how he made me feel.
I am a firm believer of my grandchildren calling me whatever they want to, but I am no longer in search of a title that makes me feel less…well, old. Ever since that pivotal moment, I have embraced and have come to terms with being “Grand.”
And besides that, I love tradition.