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Choosing My Grandma Name

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

One of my sweetest grandparent memories is the first time my oldest grandchild, Keira, called me Nonny. We are a blended family like so many others of our time and our children anticipated that multiple grandparents might get confusing to the little ones. They asked what we wanted to be called. It was time to choose my Grandma name!

Deciding on a grandparent moniker brought some of my own distant memories back into focus. What did I call my grandparents? What nicknames did I have that might be appropriate? I decided against duplicating my grandparents exactly because I liked having those names stored away for special people who had already passed from this life. I remembered that my mother told me my sister Val called me Nonny when she was little because she had a hard time saying Donna.

Hmmm. Nonny. It was easy for a young child. Sounded kind of like Nana, a common grandma name and one of my grandmothers had adopted it. Yet, it was different and would be unique to me—something special from my own family history. I decided this was who I would be, going into grandmother years. Then I waited.

My Grandma Name

The name didn’t mean much at first because my children still called me Mom and the babies were coming fast between two sons and their wives, but none of the littles talked for a while. No one was using the special name I’d chosen and it didn’t seem to mean much until the day Keira said it out loud.

“Nonny?” Cherub lips spoke two syllables that warmed my heart like melted chocolate.

Grandma status established itself solidly in those syllables. As each successive child spoke my new name, my heart rejoiced in this phase of life. Our names are personal and identity flows from their use. However we choose to be identified as a grandparent to a child, it’s a name of love. It represents the special way our family grows and flourishes into the future. Generations of love in a simple name.

Incidentally, I later learned that Nonna is grandmother in Italian. Cool!

What do your grandchildren call you?

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