“Call me Ishmael.” That is what I told my daughter. The opening sentence in the epic novel Moby Dick popped into my mind soon after Julie announced her pregnancy months ago. It has nothing to do with the saga of a man’s fight against his personal demon, the great white whale.
This is all about the names for grandparents. Julie’s stepfather comes from Alabama. Julie’s husband comes from Mississippi. They both have strong Southern sensibilities. Julie’s mother and her husband chose Mawmay and Pawpay. Tim’s parents seemed to feel they would like to be called Mimi and Grandpa. Laura said she might not like be called Grandma. Suddenly, Moby Dick popped into my mind. “Call me Ishmael,” is what I blurted out. I promised to use Ish for short. Immediately, Laura picked up on this and announced, “I’ll be LoLo.”
The look on Julie’s face, the one where she further questioned my sanity, was the same look Laura and I shared on New Year’s Day 2011. On January 1, we attended the memorial service of local sports legend and WIBW sportscaster Ron Paradis. As family and friends spoke, one person revealed, “I never really knew Ron Paradis as Ron. I only knew him as Shecky.”
Shecky? We were not the only people shaking their heads in disbelief. The friend went onto explain how Paradis refused to allow anyone to call him grandfather, so he adopted Shecky in classic Paradis fashion.
We will not go quite as far. Laura’s choice comes from a friend’s daughter unable to pronounce Laura’s name and instead called her LoLo. My choice simply comes from a very twisted mind. The most important thing to remember is we love having fun.
We pushed and pushed for the name Osborne Barry Phillips for our grandson. Of course Osborne is the last name of legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne and Barry, the first name of Oklahoma coaching legend Barry Switzer. We argued should the boy become a doctor or lawyer, the name Osborne Phillips would have a nice classy touch. If he turned out to be a jock, the name could be shortened to Oz or Ozzie.
Instead, sanity ruled. Here is how Julie explained in her baby blog.
“Tim and I have always wanted a family name and have really had one favorite for a boy since we found out were expecting. Our son’s name is: Jake Robert Phillips. (Yes, it is just Jake, not Jacob.)
Jake not only comes from my maiden name, but it is also the nickname for both my dad and grandfather. I was named after my grandfather, so it feels so wonderful to also name my son after a wonderful man I did not get to meet. Robert was Tim’s grandfather’s name and is also his father’ middle name, so we are tying both families together.”
Should sanity rule again after the baby arrives, Laura and I will probably end up being called Grandma Laura and Grandpa Jeff, but for a “whale” of a good time Jake can call us LoLo and Ish.