In Old Testament times, names carried extraordinary weight. When God created a covenant with Abram, he gave him the name Abraham. Jacob wrestled with an angel and came away as Israel. What they were born with served them fine, but when it was time for a sea change, God went to work on the names first.
I don't want to overstate this, but I now think I know what that moment might have felt like, at least a little, for Abram and Jacob, because what you are fixing to hear is my first grandchild speaking a name for me for the first time.
When she was born I wanted to be called Granny, because that's what all the children (and their friends) called my mother, but it got confusing a few times when we were both in the room. I knew that whatever I came up with was just a placeholder, so I thought and thought, and decided that because I'm already named for my Grandmama Eleanor, I'd just refer to myself as Grandmama. In the months since Mama died, I've been sorry I didn't just stick to my guns. But after this, that doesn't matter to me anymore.
Of course, Grandmama is bunch of syllables, but I figured she'd sort it for herself. It would either work or not, but whatever she dubbed me I would be DUBBED for better or for worse and for good. As first grandchild with the job of choosing what I will be called for all those who may come after, well, that's a whole lot of power for a short person to have.
This afternoon, her Mama pointed at me across the room and said, "Rosemary? Who's that?"
I wasn't sure about this, so I told my daughter-in-law I wasn't entirely convinced. And with that, Jackie asked her again... 'Rosemary? Who's that?" And that baby girl came across the room at me, saying "JAMAMA!"
It may continue to morph. It may sound like something else altogether in a week.
But whatever it is, my heart just burst open and spilled over, and I just needed to share.