Many years ago, when the thought of grandchildren was a very distant dream, we were having a conversation about what we wanted to be called. My mother always wanted the grandchildren to “name” her. I insisted that we couldn’t just say, “Children, this is your grandmother, Penny. You may call her what you wish.” She finally chose “Grandmommy” (which she changed to “Nana” when my brothers’ boys were young). The children never did name her; she was always “Grandmommy.”
Wayne’s mother wanted to be called, “Grandmother;” there was no other choice given and that is what she was (and is) called. My other mother-in-law, on the other hand, had been called by her first name by the oldest grandsons. My father-in-law was “Daddy Jim” and she was “Annette.” We chose to have our children call her “Mama Ann,” which was first shortened to “Max” and finally to “Mams,” which is what she is called today some thirty-plus years later.
Back to our conversation about names… Someone suggested that Wayne should be “Daddy Wayne,” which is what my mother called him as soon as Jessi was born. While it would be an appropriate moniker, I didn’t think that was a suitable choice. I expected it would get shortened to “Dwayne,” which isn’t a good granddaddy-type name. I preferred “Papa” or “Poppie” or “Pops” or some other term of endearment. I was overruled when Stephen shouted, “That’s perfect. He’ll be ‘Dwayne’ and you’ll be ‘Taco.'” I don’t know where “Taco” came from but that’s been our expected names ever since.
Now that the thought of grandchildren has become the reality of a baby on the way, I’m not sure I want to be “Taco.” I’m also not sure that I have a choice.