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Discovering the Meaning of Great Grandparent

Discovering the meaning of Great Grandparent


When or how did the title Great Grandparent come to be?   I know if I search Google, or reach out to Alexa or Siri I could find the answer quickly, but all I really need to do is look into the eyes of my grandson looking at his Great Grandparents and I have my answer.   This group of seniors is the grandest of us all.  They do great, even grand things, passing along all of their love and knowledge to the little ones that are ready to soak it up.  They are the men and women that often get the best of the little people in the family.

Theo with Nanny G (great-grandmother)

Babies soothe and settle when this generation quietly sings or reads to them.  They close their little eyes and sleep peacefully when the Great Grands rock them with a gentle sway.  Toddlers will sit still and listen to a story or calm themselves when they are frustrated and acting out.   Tweens love to have this generation hear about their school adventures and all of the sports and school activities they are participating in.  Teenagers tolerate them and show kindness when sometimes parents wonder if they have forgotten manners and politeness.  Young adults admire them, and strive to remain connected even when their own lives are beginning to pull them miles away from home…..and their Children see them as they always have……loving, kind, supportive, encouraging and are in awe that even this newest 4th generation of family feels just as connected to their Great Grandparents as the generations that have preceded them.

Theo with his great-grandfather

My grandson, Theodore Loyal Beltz, is named after my father Loyal Brown.   I remember the day that my son and his wife told my dad and mom that if they had a baby boy they wanted to name him after my dad.   I also remember my dad’s expression…..one of deep love and appreciation.

Theo lives in New York City and my parents live in Pennsylvania. Lots of visits both directions and frequent face-times have allowed Theo to not only know Pap Pap and Nanny G, but to love them as all of the generations before him have.

Theo loves spending one on one time with his Great Grandparents.  Reading books, coloring and sharing secrets that only they can know.   His little face seems to be wanting to soak up anything and everything Pap Pap and Nanny G have to share and they are thrilled to give their time and love to their little friend.

Full disclosure, I did do a search on Google for Great Grandparent to see what I could learn.    The history of the term was born in the 13th century and the meaning is described as magnificent, grand and third parent.    I think Theo would agree.  I know I do.

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great grandparentRonda is a proud grandmom to Theo (obviously). She lives in Medina, Ohio. She enjoys writing, photography, travel & hiking.


Featured image: ronda with family

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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