“Grandma”, “Grandmom”, “Granny”, “Gran”, “MeeMaw”, “Nana”, “MawMaw”, and there are probably a dozen more, from different languages, cultures, or areas of the country. I thought that I was going to be “Grandma” to my first granddaughter, as my mother was “Nana” to all the kids. I found out that was not going to be the case when my granddaughter and daughter came for a visit. It was decided that she had to many “Grandma’s” and didn’t wish to call me that. It about broke my heart. Holding back the tears that I was sure would come at any time, I bravely asked this precious little four year old what she wished to call me instead. Without blinking an eye, she said, “I am going to call you Grangran.” I had my own special Grandma name.
When I had discussed it with my mother, she said that was the most precious gift my granddaughter could have given me. Most kids don’t get a choice in what they call their grandmothers. It is usually chosen for them. After thinking about it, I did feel special. So, now, I am Grangran to three beautiful little girls and as long as they say it with love, they can call me that forever.
While it may be tradition in some families for the grandkids to call their grandmother a certain name, I came to believe, that a child should have the right, with some help, to call their grandmother, something that will be familiar to them, easy for them to say and make them smile when they think of her and be very special to them both. A grandmother is a very special person in the life of a child, or should be. Some children have ended up living with their grandparents due whatever reason. Some children have speech problems and certain names will be easier for them to say, ie; Gran, MeeMaw, Granny, or whatever they find easier. Don’t discourage them. If it comes from their heart, let them use what they are most comfortable with. If there are two sets of grandparents, give each a different name, so that the child will know which set you are referring to later on. Be sure to ask the child what they wish to call them and then be sure it is also okay with the grandparent as well.
After realizing my granddaughter had both mine and her best interests at heart, I told her that calling me Grangran would be just fine. I gave her a big hug, told her I loved her and smiled. I had my own Grandma name. Every grandmother should have that priveledge and encourage it.