When I was a child, nearly everyone I knew, including myself, called their grandparents "Grandma" and "Grandpa," or some close, traditional derivative. If there was a need to distinguish which set of grandparents I was talking about, I used their last name, as in "Grandma Clark." Maybe it was the part of the country where I lived. Maybe it was the era into which I was born. But grandparents were all Grandmas and Grandpas.
The first time I realized how creative people could be with grandparent names was when I went to college in Texas. All of a sudden I was hearing about Opa and Oma, Pawpaw and Memaw, Nana and G-daddy, Grammy and Pops, Baba and Gigi, and Sugar and Boss, just to name a few. It was a whole new world of monikers!
When Chris was just beginning to talk, I remember my mom coming to visit, from Anchorage, and saying, "I'll answer to whatever name he can say!" During that week's visit, she presented names to him, one after another, until he finally delighted her by repeating, "Nana." As time went on, Nana evolved into Nanny. Likewise, Grandpa evolved into Papa.
So, at the end of 2005, along came our first grandchild, Sweetpea. What would she call us? Her other grandparents had already been named, by their first grandchild, Bia and Pawpaw. Here was our opportunity to be amazingly creative. We pondered over names, and finally came up with . . . Grandma and Grandpa.
Four Nights In Tofino
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