more than one way to become a grandparent.
Bossman and I moved to the Nashville area over three years ago,
never dreaming this would be where wed discover our granddaughter.
Were damn Yankees who fell in love with a babe born in Tennessee.
Sweetie was only three when she and her mom, whos from Alabama,
came into our empty-nested lives. She called us Miss Susie and
Mr. Bossman, which was so darn cute. During a visit about six
months into the relationship, she decided she was going to give
us new nicknames.
Im going to call Mr. Bossman
she told us, her eyes lighting up like flares.
Pappy was beaming. Sweeties Mom was snickering.
I nearly burst holding in the biggest guffaw never bellowed.
The new Pappy said, Nobody, NObody else is allowed to call
me that. Sweetie can, though.
The beams of light shining from Pappy and Sweeties eyes
Then the cherub looked at me. I waited expectantly to find out
my dear new nickname. Finally, I was going to become a grandmother
after years of fantasizing. This sweet child was picking the name
herself. Even my imagination never came up with this scenario.
And Miss Susie, Im gonna call you
waited; my face hurt I was smiling so hard.
Im gonna call you
My smile cracked.
Pappys mouth hung agape.
Sweeties moms eyes peeled back like onions.
Mammy? Are you sure thats what you want to call Miss
Susie? the childs confused mother asked with a giggle.
Yup! Mammy. Mammy and Pappy! Thats their new nicknames.
The child hugged us.
Pappy was sounding better to me. He was beaming while
Sweetie, are you sure you want to call me Mammy? Isnt
there another name youd like to call Miss Susie, like
or Granny or Grammy?
Id never pictured myself as the Mammy-type, whatever that
might be. I just knew that it wasnt a good fit. I was young.
I was blonde. I was born in New York.
The child and her mother had a quick, whispered conversation.
Okay. Ill call you
Her big blue eyes rolled side to side searching
The eyes flashed!
Warm air stirred as three adults let out kept breaths.
Nana is perfect, Sweetie. Just perfect.
Yup. Nana. Thats it. Youre Nana and Pappy.
Beams of light and choruses of angels were in the living room
at that moment. So be it. We are honorary grandparents. Im
a Nana and a darn good one, too. And Pappys the best grandfather
in the world. Just ask him.
Oh, and you can ask Sweetie. Shell tell you the same thing.
Grandchildren sometimes materialize right in your living room.
Dunham says shes a Yankee with a southern soul. Shes
been writing fiction since she was a schoolgirl, which was when
she discovered the creative side of her brain could get her out
of scholarly corners. It wasnt until she turned 50 that
she decided it was time to start taking her humor and her writing
seriously. Since then, Susie has been featured in the online literary
magazine Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, has edited
and written a private newsletter, and currently writes a humor
column called All Im Sayin Is
in the Grassland Gazette near Nashville, Tennessee. Susie loves
being part of her Writers In CAPS group and is a proud member
of the Williamson County Council for the Written Word. She and
her newly retired husband live in Franklin, Tennessee.