Sharyn Mayer…..my two cents
What’s in a name?….Well, a lot, if you are one of thousands of baby boomers who just happen to also be first time grandparents and are grappling with what your new grandchild should call you.
For many of this generation, being a grandparent may be a wonderful thing, but it makes you feel like an ‘˜old’ thing as well. The basic words of grandpa and grandma are outdated, old fashioned and do not apply to the baby boomers ‘” it connotes white haired old people rocking away on the front porch or someone that can barely lift themselves out of a chair without some assistance.
Modern day grandparents are active, healthy and very often fairly young. It’s not just the drive to be forever young; it’s also that fewer and fewer are now retired as in years gone by.
There are numerous websites devoted to just this topic, and some of the names bandied about have long been used to represent traditional grandma and grandpa by virtue of their family origin. Many ethnic groups have used words such as ‘˜bubbe’ and ‘˜zayde’ for those of the Jewish faith; ‘˜nonnie’ popular in Italian heritage, or ‘˜opa’, the German word for grandfather.
‘˜Nana’ and ‘˜Poppy’ have been used by some and is still a popular way to go, but many cannot see themselves as grandma, grammy or anything remotely similar.
One far out grandfather wanted to be called ‘˜grand dude’; some grandparents incorporate their first name, such as Grandma Elaine, and another thought herself to be glamorous, so she chose ‘˜glamma.’
Whatever is chosen, if boomers are reluctant to go with traditional words, it is because in this day and age, they feel more involved in their grandchildrens’ lives and expect to live long enough to reach milestones and watch them grow up.
However, a modern day grandparent chooses to be referred to by his or her grandchildren, consider it a badge of honor by someone so loved.