call me Grandma. I'm much too young to
be identified by that name—one that typically connotes an age much older than I
feel. Yes, I have a stepson who is now
the father of two, but I don't have a direct blood line to any grandchildren.
Well, the next thing I know I'm at a baby shower and being herded into a photo that since has been titled "The Four Grandmas" on Facebook. If you ever see it, that's me on the left, next to the mother of the mother-to-be, who was in the middle, next to the father-to-be's mom,
next to the long-time girlfriend of the father of the mother-to-be. You got all that?
I only had two grandmas. But with divorce rates and remarriages continuing to rise, it's not
unusual to have more in this age of an ever-growing number of blended families. The baby shower was for my stepson's second daughter,
Savannah. Isabella, his most amazing
daughter from his first marriage, will begin high school in the fall. Naturally
I was much much too young to be a grandmother when she was born. She also has a
few sets of grandparents. I'm not sure what she calls all of them but she calls
me by my first name, Mary Lou. Truthfully I felt I didn't deserve a title that—at least in the past—only went to the two women who are the birth or legal
parents of the grandchild's parents. You have to be careful that you don't step on
not the only one who is uncomfortable with the grandma moniker. I read recently that Goldie Hawn and Blythe
Danner didn't want to be called "grandma," either. It's not that we don't want to be grandmas,
it's just that name again. So Goldie and
Blythe had their grandchildren rename them: GlamMa and Lalo, respectfully. These names are easy enough for a baby to
pronounce, too. Everyone is happy.
grandparents can a grandchild have before they get confused and over-indulged? Multiple names are necessary to distinguish each set. And what's my
role as grandma number three or four anyway? I'm not retired, I don't own a
rocking chair, I don't like to knit and I'd prefer not to visit the zoo ... although I
wouldn't mind going to Disney World again.
No matter what your station in the family, you
ultimately get your name from what the baby perceives and what they can
pronounce. And when it's time to welcome
that newborn into the world, who doesn't open up their mind and heart and take
her all in? Baby Savannah arrived two
weeks early ... 10 perfect little fingers and 10 perfect little toes, eyes
like her father, smile like her mother ... so sweet. My role is clear—just to
love her. And she can call me anything