Pondering the naming of grandparents

Twenty-nine and a half years ago Howie took a big box of donuts to his office and added a sign:

Compliments of Jeffrey Todd Ruder and Gramps 

Was that the name of a new architectural firm in Lincoln, Nebraska?  No.  That was how my dad chose his grandparent name and set it in stone for all his grandkids.  Jeffrey Todd's other grandparents just became Grandma Fritzi, Grandma Bev, and Grandpa Bob for the new generation.

I never knew why Dad decided to become "Gramps", but I know he didn't want to be "Granddad".  That was the name for his father-in-law, and it did not connote loving, fun, or wise. That Granddad, Fred, had declared "Grandmother" the only properly respectful name for us to call Effa Dale.  I never felt close to Grandmother, but there are multiple reasons why.  No warmth attaches to "grandmother" for me.

Howie's ma was my Grandma, the total opposite of Grandmother.  Grandma was loving and bubbly and homey and embracing.  "Grandma" had all those wonderful sensory associations with baking sugar cookie smells, clucking shoes on brick sidewalks, rubber support stockings hung over the back of a rocking chair, lemongrass scent in the bathroom, and the thud of stamping due dates at the library.

Howie's grandmother, (Grandma's mother-in-law), was The Gram.  She was never Gram.  That would be like Greco or Cid without the El.  The Gram had a formidable sound even though I only remember her at age ninety sitting or dozing in her rocking chair.

The Gram's daughters were The Aunties, a term full of fun but strange abilities from a different time or universe.  The small, quiet Auntie could catch butterflies with her bare hands.  The tall, loud Auntie could tutor me in cursive handwriting and good manners with squirrels. They were like Mrs. Whatzit and Mrs. Who.

My parents turned up their noses at peers who let baby babbling name grandparents.  Yes, judgmental.  Still, I have hang-ups about Nanas, Boppas, Oomas, and Dondeegos.

Yet, when my niece and nephew dubbed me "Ants" it seemed a perfectly efficient designation for Aunt Nancy.  Their mom always call me, "Nance".

My new grandson has a daunting seven grandparents. What a lot of old folks to sort out!  How to name four grandmas? Do I want to wait for this tiny person to goo-goo my new title? Can I shape my designation and my role in his life by dubbing myself as Howie did?

Dear friends became Honey and Sparky as grandparents.  I think these are my favorites.

Didn't put my two cents worth into the Name-The-Baby-Challenge for my son and his wife.  Okay, maybe I did say "Bradley" gave me the heebie jeebies.  Can I put my two cents in for my own new name?

If so, I'm leaning toward Grancy...

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I like Grancy!

Kim said...

La Grancy!

Kim said...

Or let the blogger code words choose a name for you!

Collagemama said...

One of the blogger code words I got yesterday was a good announcement, hereeami. Yep, here you are, baby!

Christine Thresh said...

I really like Grancy. See if it will work.
(I am "Grandy.")


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