In Relation To The Cub

He is here; the earthling who made me a grandmother at 47. He arrived yesterday. He arrived hungry.  All is well with all involved.

Everyone keeps giving me congratulations but I didn’t do anything (other than stay married). I feel the same odd reaction when people compliment my eyes or some other feature of born-this-way. It feels weird and somewhat dishonest to say Thank You when I didn’t do anything to achieve them or acquire them, other than survive gestation. In this case I really didn’t do anything to get this earthling born.

Shouldn’t we be congratulating the baby? I imagine (because I can’t remember) the birth experience must be terrifying for the birthee.  Perhaps I should respond, “Thanks, I’ll tell him.”

Of course the natural assumption is that I gave birth to one of the members of this child’s procreation team, but I didn’t, so it feels extra-weird to accept kudos. But it is just too tedious to explain to every well-wisher that I get to be a grandmother by virtue of an adoption and a combined total of four divorces. I married into the position rather than birthing my way. At first I thought this renders me the step-grandmother but my research indicates that if you’re married to the maiden’s parent when the baby is born you’re not a step-anything to the child. To the child you’re just a plain old grandmother.

Once there are grandchildren the step distinction really only matters to those who want to rank the child’s relatives. Establish a hierarchy. It will be a while before the child notices such things. By that time I bet it will still only matter to those who felt the need to stipulate in the first place. It won’t ever matter to me in relation to the cub.

When I was a cub I held a strong dislike for calling children baby goats. Oh, I was such a snob. I declared “kids” to be tacky and inaccurate. I asked my parents to pleeeeease stop calling us kids. They didn’t. I always swore that someday when I grew up — if I ever had children — I wouldn’t call them kids. I overheard my parents making fun of me and snickering about it. Because I was so stuck-up and made such a big deal over what things were called. I can’t remember what I thought I’d call them instead of kids. Child and children does sound formal to me now that I have a family so for fun I’m saying cub. And to keep my promise to Younger Me (she really needed to have more fun).

I’m pleased to report my grandcub’s parents gave him his own name instead of making him a junior. And since no immediate family members have the same name we will all be spared the Little Him and Big Him business. Obviously I’m still stuck-up and still making a big deal over what things are called. I’m six paragraphs into a birth announcements and so far the only thing I can discuss is titles and names. Clearly I’m never going to outgrow the stuck-uppity and big-dealery of my cubhood. But when Grandcub needs help with language homework or poetry, he will know who to ask.

Grandmother Mercy. I doubt this name will stick. The cub will have four grandmothers for a while. I am the youngest but the aforementioned ranking system will probably mean the other three grandmothers will take first choice of the traditional grand-monikers. And Southerners usually shorten and morph those into duosyllabic nicknames I wouldn’t want anyway. You know, Ma-Maw or Mee-Maw or Gi-Gi or Mee-Mee, and the like. During the cub’s gestation I joked that I would choose Queenie. Since this is also duosyllabic and will surely get garbled by baby-talk, who knows how it will actually evolve.

Maybe I’ll try Granny Younger just to be wicked.

(giggle) The more I say it the more I like it.

— Mercy

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