Won Over

My mother has taken an interest in the little bird. I asked her some questions about baptism—after all, she went through the ritual four times (not counting the once in her infancy), so I figured she’d be able to help me out. She was completely delighted to do so, and more than that, I think that planning for the baptism helped her to think of the little bird as someone who’ll be sticking around and doing family things; she talked about a gown my grandmother knitted and in which I was baptized (along with both of my sisters and at least one cousin), and I think she’s going to dig it out for the kiddo. She wanted to know who we want for godparents (and was pleased to find that she’d guessed right), and overall really surprised me. I had called wanted to know: How old does a baby have to be? Can it work out if the godparents can’t be present? Do they just wear white, or is there some other requirement? I got a lot more.

Of course, she has since emailed me to warn me that the gown is tacky and acrylic (which I sort of expected, knowing my grandmother).

We also talked about what they’d like to be called by grandkids; I knew going in that my mom hates “Grandma,” although I’m still not sure why. I had guessed (correctly, it turns out) that my dad would want to be “Granddad” after his own grandfather, a man who died when I was a preschooler and about whom fond stories are still told. My mom wants to be Oma, after her Tanta Sophie—my great great aunt. She also talked about why she thinks people look forward so much to being grandparents: They don’t get to appreciate the kids fully the first time around, because they are too busy and tired.

I know my mom well enough to know that this may have been an isolated good day rather than a lasting change in perspective, but it was still good to see; shoot, if she cares about the kid only when she’s around him, that would be better than Mr. Book’s mom will manage, I guarantee it.

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10 thoughts on “Won Over

  1. When I was pregnant with my first child, my mom was only 42 and in her words, “much too young for someone to be calling me ‘Grandma’.” So she became an “Oma” and now that my kids are older their friends call her Oma as well. I think some of them think that her actual name is Oma since here in Texas most kids call their grandmothers “Nana” or “Memaw”.

    • My maternal grandmother is “Nana”. Here in PA, it’s unusual. Almost all of my friends and my sibling’s friends and the neighborhood children for that matter, call her “Nana”. I wonder how many know her actual name?

    • My husband always thought it was goofy that some people used “Omi” or “Oma,” but then he met me. 😉 I grew up calling my mom’s mom Omi; she came here from Germany, so using the German name doesn’t seem too odd to me. That said, my Omi became an Omi at 35—maybe there’s a connection!

  2. Wait, what’s up with Mr. Book’s mom that she’s more of a nightmare than yours (no offense meant to any party in that sentence)?

    Holy baptism, Batman. I had no idea you were religious. How does that work? What’s he gonna be baptized as?

    • She prefers to pretend that I don’t exist, is all. What can you do? I’m Catholic—the liberal, pro-choice, non-recruiting kind. So . . . it works like I go to mass on Sundays but don’t bother people, mostly. =)

  3. When I got pregnant with my first child, my mom was 35. I turned 18 a few months later and mom turned 36 a week before I delivered. She insisted that she was far too young for “Grandma”. That’s okay. We use a lot of “title-first name” type names in my family so it often gets shortened to just a first name. Mom is MiMi (first name) and my step mom is also MiMi (first name). Sometimes, they’re just MiMi…sometimes they’re just their name. It works fine for us but The Boy’s parents think it’s strange that she frequently uses first names…

  4. This is so good to hear! How awesome that the little bird can be baptized in the gown that you, your sisters and cousin wore. I’ve been a fan of Omi and Opa for years since my godson uses these names for his grandparents.

  5. I am glad that she has talen an interest in the little bird. I do hope that as it ebbs and flows, you are able to maintain your excitement.

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