Monday, July 13, 2015

When They Call Your Name

I can still remember the day. I recorded it in the journal I kept for her first two years of life. She called my name. Cece. It is not possible to describe the feelings of that moment. All the months of playing with her. All the times I cared for her. All the diapers changed, all the songs sung, the books read, and the stories told, the tears wiped away, the crying soothed, the boo boos kissed, and the tantrums mercifully waited out. Hearing her say my name made it all a drop in the bucket. She knew my name and she called me! 

I chose the name because it is easy to say. I thought she might learn it more quickly and might even say it accidently! But when she called my name for the first time it was no accident. "Sheshe," she said. That's how she pronounced it at first. And there was no mistaking it was for me. She came running down the hall and passed several other significant adults on the way. She was looking for me!

Of course "mama" came first. And "dada" followed closely after that. But I do believe it is on record that Cece came next. Ok. I worked on it a little bit. Ok. I worked on it a lot. I spent a great deal  of time with her in her first two years of life and am grateful that her parents allowed it, even encouraged it. As crazy as I am they facilitated this most amazing relationship of their firstborn with her crazy grama. I said my name to her as often as I could. And family members conspired with me. They called me Cece too when she was around. When she called "Sheshe" anything that followed it came into being.

"Sheshe, up." And up she would go.

"Sheshe, come!" And I would go anywhere she wanted.

Later, now with more sophisticated language, it is more complex.

"Cece, can I have a waffle?" asks Lolo.

“Of course you can have a waffle,” I reply. It's 8 p.m. but who said waffles are only for breakfast? And we’re talking homemade waffles, not Eggos!

"Cece, can we go swimming?" Lolo begs.

“Yes, let’s go!” I respond. Long past my prime in swimwear, do I care? Not warm enough to need to cool off, does it matter? She calls my name and I don a grandma-ish suit and off we go to the pool.

"Cece, will you carry me?" she asks reaching for me.

Even when there are other adults, younger, more capable, less wracked with pain, I reply, “Of course I will carry you, Lolo!”

And when she disqualified others the requests are especially delicious.

Her mommie says, "Lolo, do you want me to carry you?"

She replies, "No, I want Cece to carry me." Bam!

“Lolo, do you want me to read you a book before bedtime or do you want Cece to read you a book?” her mommie asks.

Lolo declares, “I want Cece to read me a book.” Oh yeah!

No amount of pain or fatigue is going to stop a love-crazy grama from stepping up and doing the job! Or, in this case, laying down on the floor and likely needing help to get up in order to do the job!

This is Gramasylum. It is certifiable craziness because no one in their right mind (and decrepit body) would do these things if it were not for absolutly crazy love. And the craziness only intensifies when you have two of these little people calling your name to do things not thought possible at your age and stage of life. Crazy as I am, I anxiously await grandchild number three calling my name. Jenna is only 10 months and just started saying mama and dada. But I am quite confident that Cece, Sheshe, or some other version of it is not far behind. And when she calls my name, I will be ready. Waffle? Swim? Carry? All three? I will carry her to the pool eating a waffle at midnight if she calls my name. It's Gramasylum and I love living here!

What is your grama name? And what is your best memory of a grandchild calling your name? Leave your story below.


  1. Congratulations Grama! Like I said before, it is a blessing. We missed you!

  2. Awww, I love this! And even though being a gramma is many many years away still (!), I can pretty much guarantee I will be just as certifiably insane, a full fledged member of the grammasylum!