But, while I refuse to call myself by the name, I am not stupid enough to refuse its benefits.
The excuse to shop is one of them. As is the need for travel.
I now check 2 bags when visiting the g-children. One for my things and one chock full of wrapped toys: Disney character toys, size 3-months ruffled jean skirts and polka dot leggings with matching peter pan tops, Golden books from the thrift shop, newly printed photos, 90% finished baby quilts, and various and sundry items for the mom, my daughter.
There is a down side to g-mothering. I often wake in the wee hours and worry like a crazy woman about my 5 kids. Now I have my g-kids to add to the mix.
To offset the age stigma I still wear the peach colored v-neck fitted t-shirt embroidered with "World's Sexiest G-ma" that my daughter gave me to announce the arrival of the 1st grandchild. It's pretty stretched out by now, but offers comfort and a big self-esteem boost.
But my name is Bella.
The name was suggested by my daughter. I loved it because it was also the name of my privileged mother's nurse maid. It was short for Isabel and there were too many Isabel's in her family already. Bella raised my mom in a big house, while her mother and grandmother (oops, I said it and will say it for other people) chain-smoked their morning cigarettes over black coffee. They spent half a day lounging on those overstuffed, one-armed chaises my great-grandfather dubbed "wench benches," while Bella bathed, fed and entertained my mother and her brothers.
A short survey revealed that there are others out there like me who adamantly shun the g-word as well. They go by:
It's affirming that I am not alone in avoiding the g-word, a by-word to many.
Though I am a g-ma 5 times over, I go by Bella. My less vain husband has no problem being called 'grandpa.' I Shudder!!
A second profane word I refuse to say is what I call 'the other f-word'. And I do apologize if it makes you think of that obscenity that the Federal Communications Commission just lifted the ban on for the air waves. You'll be hearing a lot more of it on TV whether you like it or not.
Big mistake and another huge dive in the culture's downward spiral that has completely lost their sense of decency and annihilated any shred of politeness that may have previously existed. What's become of our sensibilities and simple manners?
When asked my age, I simply cannot say the other f-word. My lips trip and spudder as they try to form that fizzy consonant. My brow sweats, cheeks flush and facial muscles contort. The number following forty-nine is practically unpronounceable.
When the fifth decade rolled around, the same year I became the g-word, (double whammy), I adopted the age terminology the ever clever Anne Lomott coined as the year forty-ten. What a genius that author is! https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott
The next birthday I called myself forty-eleven. And so on. It's the perfect verbal weapon for those waging war on middle age.
When both bad words, the g-word and the other f-word approached me the same year, I had to do something! And I found a way of not saying either.
My name is Bella to my g-children and I am fortyfive-eleven.