an exclusive feature from Leslie Zinberg, co-founder
“Don’t call me Grandma” is something I hear over and over, and I am wondering if I’ve even said it myself!
Could it be that as baby boomers we feel as though we are too vibrant, too cool, too chic to be called “Grandma”? Does the word “Grandma” signify an old person, maybe even decrepit? Last week I was at a children’s book store and noticed that almost every grandparent book featured grandma with white hair and innumerable wrinkles, and bent over grandpa wearing glasses, looking totally ancient. Look online and see the “old” grandparent pictures there. When we see these images, it’s no wonder so many of us don’t want to be called Grandma. There’s a stigma associated to the name.
But, let’s rethink this for a minute. It is an honor to be a grandparent. It’s a joy that no one can comprehend until it happens to them. Aren’t we as old as we feel? Today’s g-parents think of themselves as young, they act young, and they look younger than the grandparents of generations ago. It does not mean we need to dislike being called Grandma. The hot new name seems to be GlamMa. The Urban Dictionary states, “If 60 is the new 40, then GlamMa is the new Grandma, a woman with a sense of self and style.” GlamMa is “the new generation of grandmas, who are stylish in the way they live and dress. These women do not fit the typical cardigan-wearing, permed hair granny stereotype, they are glamorous.”
When you look up grandparent names, there’s an abundance of different and unique nicknames. If you don’t want to be called Grandma, then pick one you like. As I think about my own grandmother, my heart fills with delight. We called her “Bubbles” and “Gaga”. She was absolutely wonderful and the best cook ever. (Boy, do I wish I’d paid a lot more attention to her cooking secrets.) I would not have thought any differently of her, if we had called her Grandma. I loved her no matter what.
Really, the name is the least important factor here. Bottom line: being grandma is a gift, something to be CELEBRATED. It does not matter whether we are Nana, or Mimi, or Grammy, or GlamMa. What matters is that we love our grandkids and they love us. Aren’t there bigger issues to deal with?