Mommy, Daddy, Mama, Pops, Mom, Daddy, Dada, Dad—what name do you go by? We’ve all heard names that children make up for their parents, grandparents and siblings. Some of them are pretty inventive. My grandfather was “Be-Bop!” A great friend of mine is “Farmore.” I recently was reading a Facebook post about what children should call adults who may be friends of their parents, and is it OK to call them by their first names, or will children lose respect for that person. Who knows??
About 6 ½ years ago, when our daughter was pregnant with our first grandchild, (which made us VERY happy), we were discussing what we wanted to be called. I always knew I would be Nana. After all, I had a Nana, and when we had kids my Mom became Nana and my Nana became Nannie. So it was just natural that I would now become Nana. My husband Michael had different ideas about being called Grandpa.
While he was very, very happy to become a grandfather, he did not want to be called Grandpa. Every time someone asked him what he wanted the grandkids to call him, he would respond with, “Just Mike.” No matter what anyone suggested, he always went back to, “Just Mike.” And so—when this precious little baby was born, on Michael’s 50th birthday no less, he began the “Just Mike” stage.
For a while, we were all calling him “Just Mike,” but it has since been shortened to “Mike.” He is only called that by our two grandsons. Very few other people call him Mike—he has always been Michael. The boys’ other grandfather is Grandpa.
Mike and the boys are best of friends. They enjoy each other’s company immensely and love spending time together. They have built sand castles for hours, played chase for longer than I could describe, they built a super cool Go Kart together, and are already planning what to build their Mom and Dad for Christmas next year! In short—the love they share is incredible.
Once, when describing his grandfathers, Austin said, “I have Mike and I have a Grandpa too.” Sometimes, when we are out with the boys, and they call us “Mike & Nana,” I feel like Mike must be my boyfriend or something—it’s kind of funny actually! Oliver has recently taken to calling my husband “Mikey” when he really wants something—or—if he can’t find him while looking for him, he will yell, “Miiichael.” Pretty cute.
I don’t think the respect for an adult, or any other person for that matter, comes from what you call him or her. It comes from your relationship and interactions with that person. It comes as a mutual understanding between people.
So what’s in a name you ask? I see LOVE!!