I'm always interested in what people call their grandparents. There are so many different names and nicknames. I guess that interest stems in part by the fact that my six grandchildren call me by two different names. My oldest grandson, a recent high school graduate, couldn't pronounce Grandpa when he was little, and so he called me Pepa. It stuck--and now both he and my younger grandson call me by that name. When my first granddaughter started talking, though, she decided she didn't like calling me Pepa. She wanted to call me Pop Pop. And so that stuck as well. And that's what she and her sister call me. And while it was confusing at times, it seemed to work. Grandsons called me Pepa, and granddaughters Pop Pop.
But our youngest child, my daughter Elizabeth, and her partner Erica, decided to move towards adopting two little girls of their own, and so when they came on the scene, I suggested that we stick with the gender-related names. And it worked. They call me Pop Pop. And all was well--that is until one of the granddaughters decided to call me Pepa. She's heard her boy cousins call me that, and decided it must be, as she put it, "your real name."
And then one day, my wife Linda had two of the grandsons and two of the granddaughters in the car, and she was talking about me--and she got all confused. "You'll have to talk to Pop Pop about that," when she was asked to grant permission for something. "Or Pepa--or whatever," she said. At which point the oldest grandson, who was twelve at the time, the one who had started the whole thing a decade earlier, said, "I think I'll just start calling him Grandpa."
Sigh! Like I said, confusing! But six years later, the original names seem to have stuck. And so some of the time I'm Pepa, some of the time Pop Pop, and all of the time a very proud grandfather of six!
(Photo: Five of the six grandkids at a recent outing theater outing, hamming it up! The oldest grandson had to work!)