The Birth of The Koolma

“So just what the heck is a ‘Koolma’?”, you might be asking. Well, this is how it began…

The very same day that Mami told me she was expecting, one of my dear friends happened to call, out of the blue. I hadn’t spoken to her in months, but we had daughters the same age, and had been in a mother-daughter group I facilitated about 10 years ago.

I was still adjusting to the news, you know, processing it all. Waves of wonderings and questions kept coming to me, from time to time. I wasn’t quite to the point of wanting to call everyone in the world and announce the news. The responsible mommy side of me was taking all my attention by asking many questions – was this really the best time for them? are they ready/responsible enough for this, it is a REALLY BIG undertaking. How will they do this financially and still get by? In what ways do I WANT to adjust my life due to integrating in a new baby? Not just that, but we have been talking about moving, and how can I move further away?  Myy mind, of course had many, many more, so on and on they went. I felt like I needed to answer all of these & feel comfortable with the topic before sharing it, but here she was, and of course, the subject was in the forefront of my mind.

So when she asked, “How you doin?” and “What’s up in your life?”, I had to tell the truth. It just kinda blurted out. “Mami is pregnant!”

The response, right after the “WOW! That’s big news!” was “You’ll have to decide what you want to be called.” This question broadsided me, because as busy as my mind had been with all the questions it had been coming up with, this was nowhere on the radar. It came from the fact that she had been a Nanna (her preferred term for Grandma), for about 7 years, so she had been down this path already, two times. She went on to say, “You want to decide what you want to be called, so that when the baby comes it is already in place.” Made sense, did I feel comfortable being called “Grandma”? My mind took off again with more questions!

I noticed that I am probably like most Baby Boomers, having grown up with the likes of Farah Fawcett, Raquel Welch and Jame Fonda as celebrities and role models, and they were youthful and sexy eternally. Plus, I have been into health and fitness for many years now, and physically don’t feel like I fit the image in my mind of my Grandmas (very sweet loving women, but very matronly looking). Add that to being a bit on the silly, fun playful side. Why, just three months ago I played tag with about 15 kids (4-12ish), including an 11-year old nephew) and my 50+ year old brother (youthful playfulness runs in the family) on one of those big fancy multi-unit playscapes with several slides, ladders, ropes, etc and held my own really well. I looked forward to climbing the ladders, sliding down the slides, running across the connecting bridges and tagging the kids, as well as developing teams and relationships. In short, it was a BLAST!! It seemed to help the little girl inside that sees all these amazing toys and kid products of today, that weren’t around when I was little, share in the fun and experience, instead of thinking, “Why didn’t they have that when I was a little girl?”

Something about all of that taken together really didn’t seem to mesh well with “Grandma”. So, where would I start? Google, of course!!! I got on Google and I searched and read, and read and searched. There were alot of interesting thoughts and names, but nothing really seemed to click for me. The closest things were Nanna, and those people who had their own individual name develop over time as their grandchildren started to talk and couldn’t pronounce their name as an adult would. The sweet toddler/baby version stuck, but their names didn’t fit me very well, so the dilemma continued. Then I got busy – travel, holiday preparation, remodeling, you know, LIFE! I quit searching, it wasn’t a conscious thing, it just happened.

Mr. Sweetie got here before I had figured it out!

Of course, once he arrived in late November, 2014, people started referring to me as “Grandma”. I suddenly really knew what my friend was talking about. So, the conversation began.

It made sense; I had to be called something. Nothing against Grandmas, it just doesn’t feel right to me, and if I have a choice and say in this whole thing, we need to do something different. So chatting one night with Mami & the Cisco Kid (aka Papa), I told them all this. Basically, that the current generation of “Grandmas” seem to be more “cool” than Grandmas back in the day. (Apologies to anyone who may be offended by this, it IS a generalization – not applying to everyone, and does not take away from the amazing, loving Grandma’s there are & were.)

We needed a new name, maybe like “Koolma”. (My name starts with a “K”.) We all laughed, and played with a few other options. I said I would keep thinking about it, but Koolma seemed to stick in the meantime. Busyness entered again, with holiday preparations, new baby, and more remodeling. The name search continued to take the back burner, and Koolma stayed.

Now, I do not know if I can find anything that I feel “better” about. It is actually really heartwarming, precious and cute to hear both Mami & the Cisco Kid say to Mr. Sweetie “Koolma wants to say goodbye” or “Koolma is here to see you!” or any of the many other loving references to Koolma.

What can I say? It makes your heart melt… Being a Koolma is one of the most beautiful, amazing, precious experiences one could ever have. I am certain this is true no matter what you choose to call yourself, but feel free to adopt Koolma, if it feels right to you. It is really Kool!  : )

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1 Response

  1. June 2, 2015

    […] for myself in lieu of “Grandma”, which just didn’t feel right to me (see my post The Birth Of A Koolma). I even connected with a couple of high school friends I hadn’t really talked to much in […]

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