What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

  Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2


Recently, we celebrated the first birthday of our grandson, Levi. (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2022/04/24/a-celebration-of-life-and-the-future/)

The date of the party was actually five days before the true anniversary date of April 29th so of course we also had a celebration on that day. We also held back one gift to give him on the actual date.

However, the night before we faced an existential crisis. While wrapping the present—done by my wife, of course. My wrapping skills are commensurate with my artistic ability and anything I wrap looks like it has already been opened and discarded—we came to the moment when we had to sign the card.


What do we sign as? Grandma and Grandpa? Nana and Pa? Grand Ma Ma and Grand Pa Pa? None of them seem to fit, they bore too much resemblance to people in the past. Nothing felt right.

We faced a quandary.

While we had entertained the thought of being grandparents since the moment we learned our daughter was pregnant, we never seriously considered what new appellations we would bear.

I suggested we sign the card, Your Mom’s Parents, but this was vetoed.

So what do we do?

I had planned to let Levi assign the names. But at the moment he is on the precipice of learning to walk and his language skills are a cross between a mere collection of noises (some remarkably similar to other bodily functions) and Klingon so it might be awhile before this happens.

Who knew becoming a grandparent would bring such complex decisions? I thought all I had to do was get good at covering up any evidence of ice cream or convincing the child that failing to inform his mother about any of our unapproved activities involving snakes, launching model rockets, catching frogs, or riding a bike no hands is different from lying (not that I am planning such things, couldn’t be further from my mind.)

If Shakespeare was right then the name may not matter much. It will be the memories associated with whatever Levi ends up calling us. That will be the perfect choice.

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