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They Call Me Nana

As a step-parent, I missed out on a few things. I never chose a child’s name, school, doctor, or the sports he/she played. I never had the pleasure of someone calling me Mommy, and that’s something I’ve wanted to hear for as long as I can remember. The kids simply called me by my first name.

Now that my step-kids are grown and have families of their own, I’m Nana to their kids. This is a name I chose for myself. No one objected, and we moved forward.

I love my name. I chose Nana because it’s easy to say and remember. My sister-in-law and my friend Kathy are both nanas. It felt right the first time I said it, and I’m a person who believes in listening to my instincts.

My step-daughter and grandson came to see me a couple of days ago. I saw the car pull in the driveway and went out to await my visitors on the front porch. I heard them talking as they made their way from the driveway to the sidewalk that leads to my front door.

My grandson was walking along like normal until he rounded the corner of the house and saw me. He smiled great big and hollered, “Nana!” as he ran as fast as he could and jumped into my arms.

My heart burst with love. With his little arms around me, I felt like I could conquer the world. His unabashed joy at seeing me lifted my spirits to the stratosphere. Is that how it feels to have your own child run to greet you?

The two of us spent a few hours together that day. We ran an errand and then went to visit Wing Grandma. He named her that because she works at the airport and shows him the planes every time he visits.

Mom adores her moniker and wouldn’t change it for the world. She’s been in love with aviation since she was a little girl. In fact, she flew an air race with Aunt Marge when she was just a teen. My sweet boy couldn’t have chosen a better name for her.

I think grandchildren are our reward for keeping our kids, or step-kids in my case, alive and healthy. I know all of those late nights spent agonizing over the kids’ attitudes, decisions, angst, and future were worth it when I look into the eyes of my grandchildren.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. I was born to be Nana.

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