I’ve had more than a few nicknames in my 52 years as many seem to find Elizabeth too much of a mouthful, but I recently gained a new name that makes me smile every time I hear it. When Jersey Girl was here a few weeks ago, we had a memorable conversation over ice cream while John went to get the car.
It was at the end of a long and lovely coast path walk that took us into the village of Polzeath where JG and I were content to people watch and eat ice cream while waiting for John. We were sitting on a wall near the beach watching a steady steam of people passing by and after a while Jersey Girl looked up at me with a mix of shy sweetness and said, ” Do you think people think you’re my mummy? ” I laughed at this, gave her a playful squeeze and said, ” Not hardly given my wrinkles and grey hair! “
JG kindly responded that I didn’t have many wrinkles and only a bit of grey hair. I told her that was sweet, but I really was too old to be the mother of someone her age. Then I thought about it for a second and said that there were some women who had babies into their mid-forties so it was possible for a woman my age to have eight year old child. I added that I didn’t know how older moms did it as I wasn’t sure I could balance work and young children at my age.
We left it at that and I had no idea she was still thinking about it until later. John said she often does this with him after they’ve talked about a topic. He’ll think they’re finished with the subject, but she’ll still be mulling it over and will come back to him later with a new ideas or more questions. She’s very sharp about a great many things and it is interesting to see how her young mind works.
I was surprised to see this in action later as we came back our beachside conversation while having dinner. Somewhere between the main meal and dessert she announced that I wasn’t really old enough to be her granny (like her two grandmothers, Granny A. and Granny R.) and I wasn’t young enough really to be her mummy, but as I was married to her grandpa, she would call me Granumy.
She has very proper British pronunciation which makes Granumy sound like Gran-ah-me. It has a fairly musical sound to me and I liked it immediately. While I’m not a granny, grandmother, or grandmom by a blood tie, it’s sweet that she has worked out a special name for me on her own and I’m very pleased to be JG’s Granumy.
Perhaps the larger gift in her creative combination will be a reminder that everything doesn’t have to be one or the other, and how sometimes a clever mix of what we know may lead to something entirely new and unique.