How Do You ‘Name’ Yourself?

Today I woke up thinking “Don’t forget to post SOMETHING on that blog!!”.  It’s my Monday (happy Saturday to the rest of the world), and in about 30 minutes, it’s time to hit the shower and head for work.  I’m not even gonna say ‘ugh’ or anything, because that just sets the tone for a long week.  So, ‘YIPPEE!  I have a job, thus a paycheck so I can eat and pay the phone bill and keep the house warm!’  Ok, that’s about all the party I can muster, so moving on.

My thought for today was to put a few more recent photos up of what has been going on in my life the past couple of years.  Looking back, maybe I’m justified in losing track of my blog for a while because they have been doozies!  I got a wedding photo of the kids up (only a year and a half late, sorry), and am prowling for the right photo of the Divine Miss Em.  While I decide on the photo, I want to talk a little about how, as a grandparent, you decide what a grandbaby should call you.  It’s pretty interesting actually!

When I was married and doing research on the different branches of Caleb’s family tree, I was completely fascinated by what each generation called the grandparents.  On mom’s side, there was Grandma Ollie and Grandpa Bud, and the only other grandparent I remember anyone talking about was ‘Grandma Great’, which was Grandpa Bud’s mom, I think.   I am pretty sure most of the grandparents up the line on that side were just Grandma and Grandpa.  Now on my DAD’s side, there is a good story of how his mom came to be called ‘Other Mama’.  Apparently her children all called her ‘Mama’, so when one of the early grandkids fell down and skinned himself up, he cried ‘I want mama!’.  The other kids ran in and got his mother, but when she arrived to kiss the boo boo, he said, ‘Not YOU!!  I want that OTHER Mama!!’  Thus was my paternal named, and all her kids and grandkids called her Other Mama from that day forward.  I’ve never heard her called anything else… Other Mama and Papa.  I don’t know what earlier generations of the Horton line were called.  My parents were Papa Andy, who had already been named LONG before Caleb arrived, and Neeny.   We were shooting for Granny Kate, but ‘granny’ came out ‘ninny’ when Caleb started talking, and mom said, ‘Well, THAT’s not something I dreamed of is one day being a NINNY!’.  So, we encouraged a long E sound and she became ‘Neeny’.  So there you have it, Papa and Neeny.

Now over on the Fichte side of the  tree, it is quite interesting.  Every generation  had a unique name for the grandparents.  Caleb didn’t ever really know his grandparents on that side, as Frank, who was called Grandaddy by the other grands, passed away when all the kids were quite small.   There was Papaw and Mamaw (Bennie & Ouida Fichte, great grands), Mom and Poppie (the Avary great grandparents), Daddy Eddie and Mammy Spradlin, Mama Hilton and Papa Hilton, and others.

When I got a text from Caleb announcing positive results on a pregnancy test, the content was ‘How would you like to be a gma?’  Yes, I got a text.  Welcome to the cell phone generation.  Anyway, I am thrilled to be a grandparent, no matter how I found out the happy news.  But my first thought was, ‘Hmmm, I want to have a unique ‘grandma’ name…’ and what better that picking up on what I’d already been called in the announcement?!  So, I am G-Ma.  That is ‘GEE ma’ if you look it up in the dictionary.  Just sayin’…

So, now that Emma is approaching her first birthday, getting teeth, scooting, rocking, crawdad crawling, real crawling, pulling up (and crashing down, an unfortunate part of the process), and now starting to let go and stand on her own, we shall see what she actually calls me when she opens that cute little mouth and gives me my official title.  Now I know what my mom meant when she said, ‘ Granny, Ninny, Neeny … I don’t care WHAT he calls me, just as long as he CALLS me!’  Amen, Neeny!December 2011


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