I’m about to fall in love again this week.

I’m visiting a pint-size fellow with dark chocolate brown locks and sparkling brown eyes who lovingly calls me “Mambo.” He is my grandson, my one and only. My Jack. But any day now, I will be Mambo to another precious life.

Mambo, you say? Where did that name come from?

First, can I ask if I’m the only one that’s noticed that no one seems to be called Grandma or Granny anymore? When I was young I don’t remember asking another child, “What do you call your Grandmother?” There were a few Nanas. I had a German grandmother I called Oma (which my friends thought was weird). But most of the time, our grandmother was Grandma.

Not so for the baby boomers, it appears. It seems no one is called Grandma anymore! My friends now ask, “What will you be called?” when they learn one of us is gong to be a grandmother. I think the image of the elderly grandmother doesn’t jive with our self images or our active lifestyles. I notice a lot more Nanas and Mimis and Mawmaws and such. Even Gorgeous Grandma, shortened to GG. All cute! But is this a trend?

When my turn came around I’d thought I’d be another in a long line of Nanas, but my mother in law is called Nana and to my mind, as long as she is alive, that name is taken. I still like Oma. I’d suggested the grandkids call me Mam. My itinials, I thought, would not only be easy to say, but if they called my in public, for example, “Good morning, Mam!” everyone would think I had the most polite grandchildren. My daughter nixed that.

Anyway, after Jack was born, I heard my daughter singing to him, “Mambo loves Jackie. Jackie loves Mambo.” I rolled the name on my tongue. Mambo. I saw the MAM in the name. We had a contender.

In the end, it was Jack who chose the name, as it should be. We’d played with Nana, Oma, Grandma, and Mambo. Poor child, I don’t think he knew what to call me for almost a year! I was getting upset because Jack could say “Papa Markus” without any problem, and that’s a mouthful! But then, on one glorious morning I went to pick him up from his crib. When he saw me he brightened and called out, “Mambo!” That was it.

I cherish my grandmotherly title and can’t wait to hear myself called Mambo by my new grandbaby. Boy, girl, I don’t know yet. The only thing I know is I will love this second grandchild just as much as my first and I feel so blessed. If your name is Grandma, Nana, Oma, Mimi, Susu, GG, or anything in between then you know exactly how I feel. What a glorious gift it is to be a grandparent!

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All the best,
Mary Alice