A few weeks ago my daughter called to let me know that she is pregnant.
She is a 22 year old, college graduate with a quick wit and a loving heart. She is living out of state and for the moment plans to stay there. As pregnancies sometimes go this was not planned and while not expected, is still a joyful event to be savored and anticipated with love and affection. Being so far away from her is the hardest part of this for me.
Her life and ours changed in an instant.
For weeks I didn’t talk about it to anyone outside of my immediate family. I simply didn’t want to answer questions to which there are still no answers. I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know how this will work itself out. I don’t know where she will live. I don’t know the future.
One day she unexpectedly posted her news on social media. Her reasoning is hers alone and since its her news, she can tell it as she wishes.
Her friends and family wished her well in that innocuous and sometimes counter intuitive fashion of “liking” the post. Those who commented sent her love, and offers of encouragement. Family offered assistance and love.
A few people sent me messages “offline” and visible only to me. One message in particular stood out.
The message read in part, “Hey, do you need a shotgun?!” The note then offered prayers and the notion that “children never cease to challenge us to be our best.”
And that is true. Our children and those of others whom we come across should always challenge us to be our best. As adults we should always be sensitive to the needs of others, especially children. As adults we should value our charges, biological or otherwise, as gifts from God to cherish and grow into self confident and caring adults. It is only in this manner that our society and continue to evolve into one of compassion, freedom and enlightenment.
Sometimes I struggle as do many, to choose my words wisely. While I wish everyone did the same, I know that once you hit that button, or utter the words, you just cant get them back no matter how badly you wish you could. Offering me a shotgun is not funny, and well, it is just so insensitive. Judging people is what has this world in the mess we are in now.
My daughter is not a damaged piece of property that has to be forced on another human in a “you broke it, you buy it” mentality. The days of shaming an unwed pregnancy are over. While this is no the way we saw her life going, it is here and we accept it.
To the contrary, her decision to accept her responsibility should be commended at the least. And in discussing her, we should all be careful of any potential ricocheting of the rocks we sling, lest we someday shatter our own houses.
Now more importantly, you also hear by noticed that I will not be called grandmother. So all you jokers get that out of your heads now.
I have been searching for the perfect name, one that means grandmother, and yet is unique for me. There is nona, nani, grammy, abuelita, lita, abuela, mama, mamagrande, etc. etc.
Many, many years ago, I was made to feel embarrassed and angry because my teachers would only call me Carol. When I went off to college I changed that forever by asking people to call me Caro, and pronounce it correctly. It became my adult identity among those I call my friends. Now I have to adjust to a new title, as a grandparent.
In the Aztec (Nahua) people’s language, Nahuatl, the word for grandmother is “cihtli,” pronounced seet-lee. To make it possessive, that is, “my grandmother,” you change the word by adding the word, NO (my) and dropping off the suffix, TLI, resulting in the word Nocih. My belief is that a baby can say the latter much earlier than it can say the former.
So I have decided that my term of endearment from my grandchild will be Nocih Caro. But you can call me Nocih.
As soon as I can, I shall start practicing the whispers to the belly and he (or she) will soon be accustomed to the name.
To my daughter, I love you both.
Now say it with me…..Nocih.