Grandma & Grandpa: Best GRANDparent Names Ever Except Gigi & Pop
By Gloria Raskin
The two loveliest words in the world, for me, are Grandma and Grandpa. In our family “Gigi and Pop” are our affectionate nicknames. Gigi was lovingly given to me when our first grandchild Audrey, was born almost seventeen years ago by my son-in-law who reasoned that Grandma Gloria could be shortened to Gigi.
Fast forward to the present, and I am called Gigi by four grandchildren, ranging in age from two to eighteen years of age, and never tire of hearing my name.
Nothing picks me up faster or brings a smile faster than Face Time.
The littlest guy can barely say the hard G but he waves at me and I feel his connection. His older brother, five in June, calls me on the telephone, with help from his parents and also Face Times with me. Nothing picks me up faster or brings a smile faster than Face Time. Whatever has been on my mind is gone as I interact with Jason and Andrew. Even though I do not understand this new technology and can barely work the computer, I appreciate and respect the ability to peek into my grandchildren’s lives.
I have had to learn to text as the two older girls, eighteen and sixteen, are too sophisticatedfor Face Time and texting is their mode of communication if I want to be part of their world. As their world expands and they get older, it is harder to be a part of their world. This is a fight I fear I may be losing. They are both in high school now and the older one will be going off to college and I can picture myself proudly wearing a sweatshirt with her college’s name on it, hoping that people will ask me who goes there.
The older girls and I go on shopping trips at least twice a year to replenish their wardrobes, and also attend Broadway shows together, a treat usually reserved for birthdays. I can remember taking them to “A Chorus Line”, my favorite show, and the youngest granddaughter, about ten at the time, coming out of the theater and telling me she did not think the show was appropriate for her to see as she hummed one of the more risqué songs in the show. I sheepishly agreed with her. As their world expands, their calendars are full, and finding time to see them, for any reason, is more difficult.
I proudly sign my name in the book the school gives me with the word “Grandma” as the person authorized to take the student out of school.
Since the daughter who lives closest to us, went back to work, we have dealt with school “emergencies”. When the school nurse calls and tells us one of the girls is sick, Gigi or Pop gets in the car and goes to fetch them. I proudly sign my name in the book the school gives me with the word “Grandma” as the person authorized to take the student out of school. When we come home, I go into full grandma mode and make them soup and sandwich for lunch, let them lay on my chaise in the family room, tuck them in with a blanket, and remember the days when I was the mommy.
I love when they come for dinner. Since my daughter went back to work, she does not cook and a home-cooked meal is always welcome. The youngest granddaughter has now become a vegan and I diligently look up recipes to please her, usually involving tofu. It means making two different dinners but that is what grandmas do. I grumble and complain but happily.
My favorite trick in the kitchen is my meringue cookies, on which I have raised all my grandchildren. It is the only cookie I have mastered. I add chocolate chips and they are hard to resist. I make them with our five-year old grandson who always requests them. I have discovered that making them, not eating them is the activity he most enjoys.
Before the youngest was born, my husband and I went to a baby furniture store near us to buy a crib. We reasoned that since our youngest daughter does not live near us when she visited they would need to sleep over. Along with the crib went a changing table we put in the guest room. These are my red-letter days when they stay with us, and we stock up on foods they want, and the kitchen is always messed up and toys are underfoot, and babies are changed on our Oriental rugs, and ice cream has become a new food group.
I have friends in our age group who for one reason or another do not have grandchildren and when I am with them, I do not talk about my four grandkids. Instead, I pinch myself four times because I am so lucky to be so blessed and be their “Gigi”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – GLORIA RASKIN
Gloria Raskin is a retired schoolteacher who now devotes her time and energy to writing personal essays, mostly about her family. She loves being a grandmother and having her four grandchildren being her (mostly) willing subjects.