My new name

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts

—Shakespeare, As You Like It

Life’s transitions tend to sneak up on us.

For example, when it dawned on my oldest son that high school wouldn’t last forever and beyond it was college plus this thing called The Rest of Your Life, involving responsibility and duty, he looked at me with big brown eyes full of gloom: “I don’t want to grow up.”

Alas. It happens.

But he found his way. Last fall he simultaneously started the pastorate, married, and became the dad of a beautiful four-year-old girl. That’s a lot of transitions in one fell swoop, and he’s embracing them all. He’s thriving.

One man in his time plays many parts . . .

All of a sudden, his father and I have reached the grandparent stage of life. While it’s the loveliest transition, I can’t keep from thinking, with a pang, How did I become this old? Truth is, there’s exactly the same age difference between my grandmother and me as there is between me and my new granddaughter. It shouldn’t seem so astonishing.

The hardest transition isn’t mine, however. It’s my granddaughter’s. She loves to come over, loves to climb in my lap with a book as much as I loved climbing into my Grandma’s with one. All of this is glorious fun. No, the hard part is what to call me. She’s used to saying Miss Fran:

“Miss Fran, I’m hungry!”

“Oooo, Miss Fran, I like your nails. Can you paint mine?”

“Can we have a popcorn party and watch Frozen again, Miss Fran?”

“Let’s go outside and blow bubbles, Miss Fran!”

She likes telling everyone that I am her grandmother now. She even likes pretending to be me. My son said that after I broke my foot she went clomping around their house with one rain boot on, saying “I’m Miss Fran!” Yikes.

This transition away from Miss Fran has proved challenging. But she’s working on it.

The other night she asked me to spell words for her with magnets on a whiteboard. I did, without realizing that she intended to copy them with a marker.

Here she is, writing with utmost care. A message to me.

With my new name, for the new role I get to play in her life:

Franna.

Life just gets grander.

I asked her if she wanted to spell “Franna” with one ‘n’ or two. She chose two.

30 thoughts on “My new name

  1. What a lovely transition from Miss Fran to the more personal and particular, Franna! I appreciate the way you tell this story. It’s so human and relatable – one of those moments when we ask ourselves in true Talking Heads fashion, “Well, how did I get here?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg…Franna! The perfect name. I love your pacing here, the one line paragraph, the idea that we play many parts. Oh how this is such a special one! To have a granddaughter who loves you so dearly and who you adore as well. Having a grandma was one of the most treasured parts of my life- I miss my Grandma each day. My mom is the best Naya (the name that was given to her by my nephew) and seeing her relationship with my children is again one of the most beautiful things I’ve known. Love this post and you, Franna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My paternal grandmother remains one of the greatest influences of my life. She’s gone now, but never far. I am aware of her daily. It is with great joy that I step into her shoes, ever-mindful… and I love my new name, too! I need it on a shirt! 🤣 And love you as well, Kathleen ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE Franna. No accident this little soul is with you. Makes me want to cry happy tears. Love you, too, Franna (Can other not-so-little folks call you that also?)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t put enough smiley faces in this one. My grandsons don’t talk yet so I’m not sure what they will call me. I know whatever it is I will love my new name.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a perfect, warm, light slice to read as I wrap up my day! I love that you and she arrived at Franna and the picture simply melts my heart! You are going to be, already are, the best Franna of them all!
    PS It look better with two n’s! 😉

    Like

  6. I am among the last of my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues of a similar age to attain grandparenthood (not that I’m in a hurry!), and I’ve often thought about what my grandchildren would call me. I had a Grandma and a Grandpa, and a Grammie and Grampie (to distinguish the two couples from one another). Since my daughter’s children will be half-Japanese, I may be a Sobo…hmmm.

    Franna suits you perfectly! And yes, I think you need that on a shirt. Preferably in Scout’s handwriting.

    Like

  7. This is quite possibly one of the sweetest things I have read in a very long time. Franna.

    Thank you for an absolutely beautiful (and charming!) slice today.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Fran, so happy for you! Franna is great but I also love Franma so fitting. That is a lot of life transition in a short time. I love the natural way you describe it. Being a grandmother has been so wonderful for me that I am actually embracing the “being older” part of it without hesitation. Of course, I think I actually am older than you so that probably made it easier. Lo/oks like your son has dived wholeheartedly into growing up You must be proud of him. I wish you well in this new chapter. I look forward to following your reflections on your new life as we blog this month. You are so insightful and have so much love to give, your grandchild is a lucky girl.
    Congratulations Franna :}

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, my friend! Delighted to see you here again! Yes, I am so proud, so grateful, so full of joy. On the roller coaster ride of life, these events have been an exhilarating turn. I thought of Franma, too, but can’t help loving Franna best. Looking forward to reading your words in this challenge as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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