I'm at that stage in life where people often ask me, "What's your grandmother name?" I was reminded of that yesterday when Karen hosted a Sip 'N See so that we could meet her new grandson Cooper, who is three weeks old and was visiting from Mississippi.
For the moment Karen's grandmother name is Granna, but she reminded us that it would be whatever Cooper wanted it to be. After all, bestowing grandmother and grandfather names is the awesome responsibility of the oldest grandchild.
LBeau and I, however, are the exception to that rule. Oddly enough, our grandparent names were given to us not by Walker, our three-year-old grandson, but by one of our son Ben's high school friends. My very first email address was firstname.lastname@example.org, so at some point Jason started calling me KBeau (pronounced kay-bow). It stuck, and it naturally followed that Larry would be called LBeau.
When Walker was born, I said that I would answer to anything but Big Momma, but since I was already KBeau, I'd try to make that stick. Fortunately, KBeau and LBeau seemed to be easy for Walker to pronounce, which was a good thing because Uncle Hunter tried his best to make me Big Momma. Lucy, pictured here with KBeau, and Lauren aren’t old enough to call us anything yet, so we’ll see.
As the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I got to pick the names for four grandparents. On my mother's side, there are 21 Reynolds cousins, and all of us called our grandparents Grancy and Poosie.
Grancy was probably derived from Granny. Poosie came about because I couldn't say Bam Poo, which is what my mother wanted me to call her father. They tried to get me to say "Bam Poo" because that's what Mother and her siblings called their own grandfather. I'm guessing that Bam Poo was the result of some child's effort to say "Grandpa."
I really think some of the best grandparent names happen that way. My friend Sherri wanted to be Honey, but when Grey started talking she became Sunny, which fits Sherri perfectly.
My paternal grandparents had more common names. We called them Mema (pronounced Me-maw) and Papa (Pa-paw). Papa was the postmaster in tiny Lewisville, Arkansas. Like any good grandfather, he kept a photo of his grandchildren on his desk at work.
After Papa died, Mema began spending summers with us while Aunt Sissy, who lived at home, taught library science at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas. Mema couldn't sit still and was always cleaning up after us or doing other chores for Mother, which prompted one of my Reynolds cousins to ask why they didn't have a Mema maid.
This weekend KBeau and LBeau are lucky to have Lucy and her parents with us. Next weekend we'll get to see Walker and Lauren.
I'd love to hear about your grandmother or grandfather names and how you came to be called that. Meanwhile, I'm linking up (a little late) with Laurie's Favorite Things because being a grandmother has got to be the best thing in the world.