Grandparenthood is sweet by any name

A nana is as good as a bubbe … maybe

Seth Plitt, left, holds Rebecca Shana and Joshua Frederick, and ‘Nana’ Miriam Plitt holds Ethan Ian, who is Rebecca’s twin brother. The parents of the three children are Seth and Robin Plitt.  /MIRIAM  R. PLITTPAWTUCKET – I noticed in a newspaper article that National Grandparents’ Day was Sept. 8.  Of course, we have holidays for everything; after all, we have to get those greeting cards mailed.

Putting aside the commercialism, one of life’s most joyous moments is to learn that you are going to be a grandparent. Everyone offers hugs and kisses, makes phone calls, posts on Facebook and tweets to spread mazal, good fortune.  The next question: Boy or girl?

When everything calms down, the next big question is, “What do you want the grandchildren to call you?”

Before our first grandchild was born, I suggested to our son Hugh, “What about bubbe and zayde?”

He said, “No, that’s too old-world.”

My suggestion, “What do you think of our email names, Queen Miriam and King Arthur?” did not go over too well. Neither did “Miriam and Arthur”; Hugh did not approve of that choice either.    Well then, how about Grandma and Grandpa, Nanny and Poppy or Grammie and Grampy?

Arthur and I decided that we needed to have names that would be consistent for future grandchildren. So, after pondering all of this, we solicited our kids’ input. The consensus? “Nana Miriam and Papa Arthur.”

Here’s what we learned: Don’t bother with all this second-guessing and name negotiation; it didn’t work for us. After our grandchildren were born (we have six grandchildren in total, including two sets of twins), we realized that it wasn’t our children or us who decide on names – our grandchildren did. If you are like me, you will love whatever name they call you.

We have one friend whose grandchildren call her Honey. Our granddaughter Elianna Mia calls me Nana Banana and our grandson Joshua sometimes calls us Miriam and Arthur.

When my son Seth tells me that I spoil the grandchildren, I reply, “That’s my job.” It’s the special bond and lasting memories you create with these wonderful human beings.

So, to all of you grandparents, I hope you had a very happy Grandparents’ Day.

Just know, in my heart, I still like bubbe and zayde.

Miriam R. Plitt (, an occasional contributor to The Jewish Voice, lives in Pawtucket.