I was shopping in Stamford, Connecticut with my granddaughter, waiting on line to pay for her Elmo Halloween costume when suddenly a child yelled out, “Grandma, help!” It didn’t matter that my granddaughter was safely by my side and that she calls me Nana. I quickly swirled around to see who needed help, as did four other women. The closest Grandma to the crying child quickly retrieved the kaleidoscope that had fallen down through the open squares of the metal shopping cart.
We all waited to see if she needed any additional help. She turned and laughed, “Five grandmas responded to one word, Grandma! He usually calls me Rosie, but in an emergency, it came out Grandma! Look at us! So many different Grandmas!”
She was so right. We were quite an assortment of Grandmas of different nationalities, names, and ages, each of us enjoying our Grandma roles in unique ways. None of us were fulltime caregivers. Two of us ran our own businesses from home, two worked fulltime, one commuted into New York City, and one was retired but committed to a fulltime volunteer schedule. Each of us made very special time to fully enjoy our own grandchildren. That was the moment that WHAT DO YOU CALL YOUR GRANDMA? was born.
I put together a few photos of different Grandmas and Grandpas with their grandchildren and showed the compilation to friends’ children of all ages. They not only loved looking at the photos, they responded to the people in them as Grandparents. An eighteen-month-old kissed a few of the photos; a two-year-old decided some were funny, others nice and a few yucky; and grade-school children created their own stories, providing the Grandparents with personalities and temperaments. Those early reactions helped me decide not to add any additional words or stories. Each page consists simply of a photograph and a Grandma name. The rest is left up to the imagination.
What Do You Call Your Grandma? is a project of love, celebrating the special bonds between Grandmas and Grandchildren everywhere. I need your help reaching my goal ─ to have at least 100 different Grandma and Grandpa Names by INTERNATIONAL GRANDPARENTS DAY 9/14/15. This project cannot be achieved without your support. Thank you for sharing your Grandma images, names, and love with all of us everywhere around the world.