What Do I Call You?

dreamstime_m_15253773When Katrena and Isaac came to live with us, we never anticipated the situation would become long-term. Katrena was affected the most by this disruption of their family unit. With tears she reported to her teacher and her aunt, “It not fair that all of my friends and my cousins gets to go home with their mommy and daddy and I can’t.”

Her hope—eventually she would go back to live with her mom. “Nothing against you and Grandpa,” she was quick to add, “I just miss my family.”

When circumstances changed, we had the sorrowful task of explaining to Katrena that she and Isaac would be living with us for a long time. After the tears dried she asked, “So what do I call you? Are you still Grandma and Grandpa or are you Mom and Dad?”

To all of our grands we are Grandma and Grandpa. Truthfully, one grandson can’t say grandma yet and he calls me “mommee”. His mother is “mama”.

I can’t remember our exact answer. We didn’t know what to say. We still don’t. We know they love their parents. Their mom has moved away but they see their dad a few times a month. So how do we fulfill Katrena’s need to live with a mom and dad without insulting her parents? How confusing will it be to our five other grandchildren if they hear these two call us Mom and Dad?

Isaac found his own solution. He calls Bill “Grandpa Dad.” What a smart kid! Only time will tell whether that continues to be his new name. Maybe I’ll become “Grandmama”

Katrena and Isaac with Bill's birthday cakeWe don know the right answers to all their questions. We have much to figure out. One thing we do know and we tell them often. No matter what they call us, we are a family. Our family just has grandparents for parents.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, please grant us wisdom as we try to meet Katrena and Isaac’s needs and the needs of our other grandchildren. Help us create a real sense of home and family for these dear ones.


2 thoughts on “What Do I Call You?

  1. You are still grandma and grandpa but you get to have a special relationship with Katy and Isaac, building a stronger bond than any of your other grands will have with you. I’m praying especially for Katy that she will know how completely you love her , and no matter what happens with her parents, God has blessed you with each other.


  2. Life With Teens & Other Wild Things

    In time, they will adjust to the new reality. If I may suggest, let the kids call you whatever they’re most comfortable with. It may also help to check out books about kids who live with their grandparents. Its not as uncommon a situation as you might think.

    I grew up closer in age to my nieces and nephews than my own siblings, and called my own dad “Grandpa” half the time, because that’s what everyone called him.

    Prayers are going up for you, my friend. You and your husband have a tough road ahead. Much love, to you and to your precious grandchildren, as well as their parents. ❤


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