Gramma, Gigi, Mimi, Mom-mom, Gammy, Mita, Meemaw – there are so many options for the important title of grandparent – and I don’t know which one I want. There may be women who would prefer to avoid this title as long as possible, but I am not among them. I did not actively petition for this role, but I was thrilled to take on the title of grandparent from the very first moment I met my granddaughter.
The first time I held her, she was less than 2 hours old. I was awash in many different feelings in that moment: from joy to concern, from anxiousness to peacefulness, from laughter to tears. It really struck me that I needed to understand that I would now have a new relationship with my daughter, along with having different responsibilities with my granddaughter.
I am no longer the ‘boss’, but I am hoping I can be a helpful ‘consultant’ when asked and perhaps be able to provide a bridge back to family traditions for this new generation. Who knew that one so small could cause such wonderful upheaval and win you over so completely with so little effort!
What’s in a name, really? When I tell people I work at Johnson & Johnson, certain expectations are created about what I do and how I do it. Folks immediately associate me with our long legacy of caring.
Like the title of Grandma, I do not take those expectations lightly. As I have shared special moments with my new granddaughter, I am even more aware of what the Johnson & Johnson name means to parents and grandparents everywhere.
So in the end, I’ve decided that what name is given to me as grandparent will probably not be my decision. It will be all about what my precious granddaughter chooses to call me. I already know I will come running when I hear it called out. Happy Grandparents Day!
Becky is an Associate Director in Regulatory Affairs at McNeil Consumer Healthcare in Fort Washington, PA. She has been with MCH for the most recent 3 years of her 20+ years with the J&J family of companies.