By Linda Robertson, AKA, Grammy
I knew my daughter was pregnant before she told me in person on Thanksgiving, 2006. In recent weeks, we had shared numerous phone calls and e-mails. Jenny and I are as close as a mother and daughter can be, but this constant connection was unusual. Plus, my body was feeling changes, and I had been having psychic flashes regarding Jenny, babies, and happy feelings.
When Jenny and David arrived at the restaurant with a small plant in hand, I held back a laugh, while Jenny told me the plant was for my birthday, although a week belated. Then she explained that, although she loved the plant and immediately thought of me when she saw it, she didn’t know what it was called.
I lost control, trying not to spoil Jenny’s surprise. “Jenny, this plant is a pregnant onion. It’s a fat little ball with spiky hair. Why does this remind you of me?”
As we all laughed, Jenny asked me the name again. I repeated it.
She followed with, “Well, that makes two of us!”
“I knew it! How far along are you? Do you know what the baby is?” I continued screaming questions at Jenny while squeezing her so tightly, she could hardly breathe.
“Mom, you’re squishing your grandchild! David thinks it’s a girl, I think it’s a boy. I’m two months along, and we have a doctor’s appointment in two weeks to find out the baby’s sex. Is that enough for now? I’m starving, and I can’t breathe.”
I finally let go of my beautiful pregnant daughter, and we went inside for breakfast. As a side note: on the menu was an omelet called, “Grandma’s Surprise.”
A couple of months passed, and after long deliberations, I decided what I wanted to be called by my grandchild, if I had a choice. I had been blessed with a Grandma and a Nana, two of the most wonderful women ever to walk on planet Earth, so I didn’t want either of those names — I knew I could never live up to their standards. So I decided on “Grammy.”
Before I continue this story, I must insert one piece of information: both my children, my son and my daughter, are people with genius IQs. Both see the world as it truly is, and have strong opinions on how to change it. When applicable, they do something about it. Both logical and literal — if you say something to them, they quickly analyze the entire statement and respond to it. For example, if someone said they were running to the store and would be back in a minute, my children would envision that person running to the store and returning in one minute. Even though that’s not feasible, it would still be their first thought. I raised both my children for the most part alone, and injected, fed, rubbed, applied, and thrust humor into their lives at every possible opportunity. Without a father in the picture, I had to be both parents, and that was hard, so when discipline became an issue, we usually solved it with humor and a pizza…and they learned their lessons well.
Now back to the Grammy issue, and my daughter’s smart retort. I visited with Jenny and David in her seventh month, seeing the sonograms, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, going through the nursery and baby clothes, and general discussions of motherhood. As we sat at the kitchen table, I learned the name that would be given to my new granddaughter at her birth in June of 2007. I questioned the choice, but got prompt, valid answers. Then Jenny asked me about the choice I had requested regarding being called “Grammy.” She said, “We’ve been discussing it. Why “Grammy?” Why not “Oscar” or “Daytime Emmy?”
The joke went right over my head, but only for a moment. When I saw both their eyes light up, I got it. “Oh yeah, that’s very funny. Award shows…clever, very funny. No thanks, I’ll stick with “Grammy.”
“No, it’s got to be “Daytime Emmy,” Jenny laughed. “That’s what your granddaughter is going to call you. We’ve decided. Besides that, “Grammy” sounds too much like “Granny” and that sounds old. We don’t want you to be an old granny, so you can be “Daytime Emmy.”
When my beautiful granddaughter was 15 months old, and learning to talk. I visited with my family the weekend of October 5th, and the baby came very close to saying my name, but it came out, “Mam-May.”
I said, “Baby, I’m sorry, but that’s just too close to ‘Mammy.’ You work on learning ‘Emmy’ for the next couple of months. I’m coming back to see you at Christmas, so you learn how to say my name by then, okay?”
My granddaughter smiled a four-tooth grin, and put her arms out, signaling me to pick her up.
My weekend was complete.
And when I returned that Christmas, my precious granddaughter spoke my name for the first time with encouragement from my daughter…only it came out “Ummy.”
Now, that’s even better than “Daytime Emmy!”
About Linda Robertson
I write everything!!!
Whatever the muses put in my head flows out of me like water, and I hurriedly put it on paper or input it into my computer! I attend a writing class every week for critique and camaraderie, and a night class every two weeks. My real genre loves are inspirational, humor, children’s stories, and poetry.
Blue Mountain Arts is currently holding 11 of my poems for market review. In addition to that, I had an article in the second volume of “Stories of Service,” a collection of stories about WWII vets, which was published in November of 2011. I edited an anthology for one of my classes at Clovis Adult Education in 2008, and have a story and a poem in that book as well. I worked on the histories of various schools in the Clovis Unified School District for a book twelve local writers participated in. Our goal was to have the book out by the 50th anniversary of the district’s unification. WE DID IT!
I have been published over 200 times, including my guide to preventing teen-age suicide, “Take Two Aspirin,” which was published through the Clovis Unified School District in 1986. I have also been published in FATE Magazine, Atlanta Parent, Woman’s World, The Good Old Days’ Specials, Nostalgia Magazine, Miracles of Motherhood, The Fresno Bee, KVPR Radio, three of Ben Romero’s Chicken Beaks book series, National Gallery of Writing, and Writer’s Market Online. On New Year’s Eve, my article, “Call Me Grammy” was accepted by grandmagazine.com, an online magazine for grandparents. I had three other publications last year as well.
I have won several awards over the years, including the 1988 Christian Writer’s Guild “Grand Prize Runner-Up,” for my children’s story, “Evolution of Love,” and “Honorable Mention” for my inspirational article, “Dear God: Thank You For Pepsi!” at the Central Valley Writer’s Workshop Symposium in Chowchilla, California, in May 2008.
My “other” life consists of family and friends, children, grandchildren, music, travel, computers, and movies. My current dedication is to my brand new extraordinary grandchildren! I lead a wonderful and fulfilling life and consider myself very lucky…to live, to write, and to breathe.