In the past few years, many of my friends and most of my cousins have begun to have grand children. One of the primary topics of our conversations nowadays has to do, of course, with all aspects of grand-parenting.

I recently had a conversation with my cousin Holly, who will become a grandmother for the first time this August. She is 5 years older than I and has longed to have grand babies for quite a while now. She will be a wonderful grandmother and that will be one lucky baby! Our recent visit had to do with her grandma name. She said that she has chosen “Grammy,” which fits her just perfectly. Her husband John will be “Buddy.” Again, just perfect.

It reminded me of a conversation that I had with my good friend, Linda, many years ago, about her grandma name. Now, Linda had been a first grade teacher for many years and she knew little kids. Linda’s daughter was about to give birth to her first grand child and we were all excited. Linda has modeled good parenting, good teaching, the ability to let our kids grow up and become their own people, etc. through the years. So, I was particularly interested to see how she would handle grand parenting.

“What will your grandma name be?” We all wanted to know.

“Oh, I’m going to let the baby decide on that,” she reported.

What? None of us had ever heard of such.

“Yes, I want it to be organic. He will get to know me and then he can decide what to call me. It will be interesting to see what happens.”

Well, the baby was born and Linda truly was a fabulous grandmother. She offered support when needed and stepped back and let her daughter and son-in-law do the parenting. When the baby was about 10 months old, I asked, “Well, Linda. Has he called you anything yet? Is he talking?”

“Yes. He is beginning to talk,” she reported. “He says Momma, Daddy, Baby, Ball, Papa.”

“So, has he called you anything else yet?”

“Not yet. I am still waiting to see what he’ll come up with. He calls David (her husband) Papa. But so far, nothing for me. Generating a whole new name takes some time.”

So, we waited.

On his first birthday, surrounded by family and friends, the baby finally named my friend. As his family gathered around him and his birthday cake, the baby went around the table, pointing and naming all of the folks in his circle of love. “Momma” (everybody clapped). “Daddy” (how cute). “Papa” (wow!). Then came the moment of truth. As he pointed to my friend, he said, just as plain as day, “Dog.”


The kid named her DOG!

So much for organic naming.

She decided on Gammy.

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