A story in today's Boston Globe talks about how many baby boomers love being grandparents, but don't love the traditional "grandma" and "grandpa" monikers that come with the role.
Now, I am not a boomer. In fact, I am the child of boomers. But I consider the titles "grandma" and "grandpa" to be honorable.
When I had my first child, and my parents first grandchild, my mother couldn't wait to call herself Grandma. She told me that she felt she'd earned it -- this from a woman who just four years earlier had given birth to my youngest brother. Still, as the parent of a then preschooler, she was not scared off by the word "grandma."
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the word. Her own mother was never "grandma" to my husband and his cousins -- they call her "Buck." My father-in-law had already declared "Poppo" as his grandparent name. So we were quite scientific in how we chose a name for our kids to call their grandmother; we went down the alphabet>:
GoGo...GoGo, that's it!
My mother-in-law will tell you a few tales about how the name came to be, but now you know the truth.
I understand the need for alternate names to differentiate between sets of grandparents; I grew up with a Grandma and Grandpa and a NaNa and PaPa. And I suppose that it's each person's prerogative to decide what they want to be called.
But some of the names cited in the article and included in The New Grandparents Name Book just don't sit well with me.
"Sonoma" and "Napa" for grandparents who are wine lovers. In that line of thinking, Mike and I would be "Jedi" and "Scrabble."
"Bubbles" and "Pebbles" conjure up images in my mind of flighty women who might be delivering singing telegrams or else making balloon animals at birthday parties.
So when it comes to be my turn to be a grandparent (in no less than 16 years or so, kids), I'll proudly be "Grandma" and I'll expect a sweatshirt that allows me to tell it to the world.
(Note: This is a little bit of a cheater's post -- I posted it here earlier today.)