Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with journalist, Deborah Martin of the San Antonio Express-News about the importance of your grandparent name. Following is the lead in to Debrorah’s article.
By Deborah Martin San Antonio Express-News.
Little Courtney Grace Miller has a special name for her grandmother, Irene Barber Miller, whom she calls “Boma.”
When Irene Barber Miller learned that she was going to be a grandmother, she knew one thing for certain: She did not want to be called Grandma.
“I hate the term ‘Grandma,’” said Miller, 56. “It sounds old. And I don’t feel old enough to be a Grandma, so I’m like, ‘You can have her call me anything you want, but not Grandma.’” Seeking more palatable possibilities, she turned to her Facebook following. Her friend Carolyn Dick recalled that her grandmother wanted to be called “Mother Lester,” but when her brother’s attempts to wrap his tongue around that got stuck at “Muh,” that’s what she became. And Amy Dulnig said one of her grandmothers was called GarGar — a riff on Margaret, her first name — because she didn’t want to be called any variation on Grandmother.
As it happens, Miller needn’t have bothered with the list. Shortly before her granddaughter, a red-haired sprite named Courtey Grace Miller, turned 2 last month, she gave Miller a name all her own: Boma (rhymes with coma).
“The first time, I wasn’t positive she actually meant me,” said Miller, who noted that she was the last family member that the little girl called by name. “And then, finally one day she came up to me and said, ‘Boma, shoe!’ I thought, it really is me!
“I was really happy she ended up with Boma. It is really sweet.”
Deciding what grandparents should be called is an eternally hot topic. GRAND, a Florida-based on-line magazine devoted to grandparenting, maintains an ever-growing list of names submitted by readers. A few of them include Zsa Zsa and Boo-Boo, Yellow-hair Grandma and Brown-hair Grandma, Umi and Ovi, Pitty-Pat and Boom-Pa, Moogie and Cupcake.
The issue “happens to be one of the biggest items that’s searched on the internet by grandparents,” said Christine Crobsy, the magazine’s editorial director. “I believe it’s because it’s an important thing. It is a new little person in your life, and, if you take care of yourself, you’re going to be in their life for a long time. How many people get to select the name that someone so precious to them is going to call them?”
Sometimes, grandkids can be guided toward a name that suits the grandparent. Crosby recently noticed some posts on a friend’s Facebook page in which his daughter referred to him as “Grampy.” When Crosby asked him about whether that was his grandparent name, he said no — “I put a stop to that (crap) right away,” Crosby recalled, laughing.
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