Creativity And Children – My New Name

Renaming Elizabeth Harper

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.

10 thoughts on “Creativity And Children – My New Name

  1. A very nice combination, especially sweet that she thought it through on her own. When I get grandkids, I would like to be called Nonnie. I read a book where the youngsters called the grandmother the nickname, and think it is so much easier to say than Grandma. However, if the child thinks one of her own, I will most likely go along with it, especially if spoken with an accent

  2. That’s such a neat story! I like her thoughtfulness and way of piecing things together. That’s a great name.

    My father’s mother never liked “Grandma” so she gave herself the name “Baba Dean”. She’d been called by her middle name “El Dean” all her life (my father has no idea where her name originated), so it was a fun/different name. I never liked “Aunt” so I tried to get my niece and nephew to call me the Korean version of “Imo”. Of course, now they call me “Aunt Imo”!

  3. Ah that is sooo sweet of Jersey girl :-)… I couldn’t bear to be called Granny .. (that was my grandmothers name.. I am not Nana, that is my mums name ,,,, I am known to my grandkiddies as Nanny Annie ,, I love it ,,,, my youngest grandson could not say Nanny Annie at first and called me Annie Annie ,, sometimes does now, I love it too xx

    I would say you are young enough to be her mum … ♥

  4. She sounds like a very special, thoughtful little girl with lots of love to share and lots of family to share it with. That’s so cute to think of her mulling this over, reflecting, coming up with just the right name. I love it! Why do I have a feeling this touched John’s heart too? : )

  5. I don’t want to address the age issue (and by the way you look great, any age) being that I was a bit older than the norm when I had my now six year old and I will probably be looked at as her grandma when she is near high school age (I have to admit I am sensitive about it), but the utter sweetness of Jersery Girl and her wonderful name for you floors me. It is a loving unique name for a loving unique relationship. God Bless y’all.

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