When I learned I was going to be a grandmother for the first time, it was quite a traumatic experience. It's not even that the news was unexpected, and not the way I had always dreamed, but I don't need to get into all those details. I'm sure there are multitudes of moms who have walked in those shoes, and know that when things don't go the way you planned, you just "pull up your big girl panties" and deal. The most important factor to me was that this precious little life was on it's way, and in the midst of all the emotion, there was nothing but love for our little grandbaby.
So, why the trauma? Oh... did I mention I was pregnant with my own precious little boy and was 43 years old? Ya. I won't get into every ugly detail, but let's just say no little home should ever have that many hormones exploding around at one time. I already thought my hubby was a saint, but surviving that experience definately seals that one. As always he was my rock.
But anywhooooo.... that's not even the point.
Here's the point...
Once I adjusted to the path we found ourselves on, I knew the only thing to do was focus on the positive, and the impending blessings of grandparenthood. I was excited to help my little grandaughter come into the world and envelop she and her mama with all the love and support in the world. Needless to say, there were challenges with my own newborn son, and the exhaustion that accompanies newborns. Did I mention their two births came at the height of swine flu season? And I have 3 school-aged children who all were sick and home from school for 3 months?
But again... that's not the point.
Here's the point... again...
The day my daughter came home with her precious little pink bundle, we were sitting on the family room floor just admiring every inch of the new princess' beauty. I was so happy to be her grandmother.
Then "it" happened.
My daughter (talking 3rd person on behalf of my 3 day old grandaughter) called me "grandma".
Good thing I was already on the floor.
How had I overlooked this? I was sooooo happy to have a grandbaby, but it never occured to me that I was in no way, shape or form ready to be "grandma".
My husband had always known that when the blessings of grandparenthood arrived, he would stick to his French/Canadian heritage and proudly embrace the title "Pepere". Having mostly the same heritage, I figured, I'd follow suit and be "Memere" so we could be a matching pair. However, it didn't take me long to realize that's just not "me". And besides, my mother-in-law is Memere to all of our children, and it just didn't feel right to share that honored title.
Grandma, like my mom was? Seemed natural until my daughter uttered the words.
Gram? Na... the paternal grandmother already snagged that cute lil' title and I didn't want to create a competitive atmosphere...
ugh... What to call a grandmother who's got her own newborn baby and is not quite ready to be labeled with the usual bun and rocking chair titles.
It came out of nowhere.
My daughter is a Brit-Com freak. Well... she's not a freak, but she has a passion for every Brit-Com carried on American television. You name it "Allo Allo", "Are You Being Served", "As Time Goes By", "Keeping Up Appearances", and a whole bunch I can't stand being in the room while they play.
Yes, this "IS" the point...
I blurted out in my best "uppity" British accent; "Why doesn't she just call me Mumzie?"
My daughter looked at me like she did when she was 3 and wanted a pony.
She said "Please tell me you're not kidding, and she can really call you that?!?!"
And so... I... old fashioned, prim artisan, who loves everything Americana and traditional... am "Mumzie".
Should have looked it up first. Apparently it means "1: Dowdy: Unfashionable and dowdy." (they just had to get "dowdy" in there twice).
Great. Now "that's" what I was going for... LOL! My hubby in his ever loving manner said; "well, you'll just have to redefine it then". Love that guy.
Definition #2 was a little better; "2: Motherly: Kind and motherly in a gentle sweet-natured way".
Ok. I like that one better.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be known as "Mumzie". And I'm not sure my other five children will appreciate all of their children calling on me with a name inspired by their sister's love of goofy Brit-Coms, but... that's how things happen isn't it?
And somehow it fits so well. I love being her Mumzie...