So, what do you want your grandchildren to call you?
I can’t tell you how many times, I was asked that question. Truth is, I never gave it much thought.
I called my grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa. Of course, it was simpler back then. Divorced and blended families weren’t as prevalent. Grandparents weren’t that hard to keep track of.
But once the “name” question was out in the open, I began to ponder the possibilities. What did I want to be called to distinguish myself from the other grandmothers in our family? From the step grandma, the half grandma, the great grandma.
Being Jewish, I could go for Bubbe. But that word always conjures up the image of a little old, white-haired lady standing at the stove, stirring a pot of matzo ball soup, or mending a sweater.
Seeing as how I don’t cook or sew and I still stand up pretty straight, this name didn’t seem to fit me at all.
I thought about Nona, which flows off the tongue quite easily. But the closest I’ve come to being Italian is having Guido kiss my hand while eating at our local trattoria.
And after learning the Chinese have two names for grandma, one for the mother’s mother, one for the father’s mother, I tossed “Wai Po” around for a few days. But if I couldn’t say it with a straight face, imagine what my grandkids would do with it.
In the end, I let my grandkids choose. Which was all fine and dandy at the beginning.
I was Grandma most of the time with a few variations such as Grammy, Grams and Gamma.
But when my last grandson arrived on the scene, that all changed. From the moment he could talk, I became Grandma iPad.
It’s not that I’m on that device all the time, but rather something he finds intriguing. So, after a few hugs, he starts in. Grandma iPad? Grandma iPad? I have no choice but to let him play on it, because as we all know two-year-olds can be relentless.
I have yet to hear him say my real name. And I was beginning to wonder how it would sound coming from his sweet voice.
I was relating this to his other grandmother (Pinyin in Chinese) and she started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“Don’t feel so bad,” she said. "I’m Grandma Kindle."
Right then, we concluded the world of technology was moving faster than we liked. Any day, now our grandson would be teaching us how to use the “latest” inventions.
Which will actually be fine with me. I’ll take all the help I can get from my grandchildren.
As long as they keep calling.
Read this next: Grandchild names: The case for not honoring elders
Janie Emaus believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. She writes about how life is NOW compared to THEN, with her special blend of funny and sweet. She is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love. And she has an essay in the Best Selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth. She is a staff writer at In The Powder Roomand blogs frequently for The Huffington Post. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie visit her blog www.theboomerrants.com and her website www.JanieEmaus.com.