My birthday is approaching and we are having people around for a BBQ tomorrow. Goodness, I turn 44 tomorrow. I will be the same age that mom was when I had Jay, but I am not sure I am as ready as mom was. I just don’t feel like a grandmother.
A couple of days ago, Jay and I were on the phone talking about what I am going to be called.
“Mum, I want Baby C to call you Gogo.” Gogo (with the “Os” pronounced as in hot) is what my mom was called by the kids. It is zulu for grandmother. My mom, feeling young to be a grandmother, did not want to be called nanna or grandma, or granny. She discovered the zulu name for grandmother and loved it. The children affectionately called her Gog.
“I don’t know if I can be called Gogo, Jay. That was Gogo’s thing.”
“Mum, you are a Gogo.”
I phone my dad. “What do you think, dad. Do you think I should be called Gogo.” My dad is in tears.
“Sarah, your mom would have loved that so much. She would want that.” I am not convinced.
I call my sister. “What do you think, Gee. Do you think I should be called Gogo.”
“Are you kidding? My kids are only 5 and 6 and I have already told them that when they have kids I am going to be called Gogo. Mom has started a tradition in our family. You have to be called Gogo.” Gogo, I guess it is then.
I phone Jay. “Okay, I have the approval of Granddad. Gogo it is.”
I’m a Gogo. I practice saying it to myself as I prepare salads for tomorrow. “Hello Gogo.” It sounds weird. It sounded so naturally for mom.
It is 10pm. Dee and I are getting into bed. “Jay wants Baby C to call me Gogo.”
“Really? Isn’t that your mom’s thing?”
“I know, I thought so too, but Dad and Gee are happy and I think it is a nice memorial to my mom. A continuation of her.”
“What am I going to be called?”
“What if I don’t want that? It sounds so old.”
“Well, what do you want? Pop? Oupa?”
“None of those. I guess it will have to be Granddad.”
My phone rings. It’s Jay.
“Mum, I’m in hospital.” I sit bolt upright.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, Mum. I’m fine. I had a big bleed and they are just making sure Baby C is okay. They are just monitoring him. Em is here and I am okay.” Instinctually I want to fly up to the hospital. “Don’t come, Mum, I am okay with Em.” Deflated, I agree to stay at home and wait for news. My baby is needing me less and less.
9am and my phone buzzes. All good. Baby C is fine. I have to go for an ultrasound on Tuesday. Can you take me? Em and I will be at your BBQ a little late. We need a nap.
I text back. Am relieved. Will see you a little later. Take it easy. Will take you to ultrasound. Love you.
The BBQ is underway. My family are all around me and I am having a good time. I am regaling my story of being a Gogo when Jay and Em arrive. I swear she has just exploded overnight. She looks well and truly round.
I hug her closely. “Sit down, sit down, are you okay.”
She smiles. “I am fine, just very tired. It was a long night. I had to have a speculum, Mum. It was horrible and very painful. They needed to check if the cervix was open, which is wasn’t. That’s why I have to go for an ultrasound, just to check.”
“No problem, my love. I’ll take you on Tuesday. You just sit there and relax now.” I get up to get her some food. Em helps himself, but I know he won’t eat much of it. He is such a picky eater!
I ask if Jay and Em want to spend the night, but they decline. At the end of the day, they are the last to leave. They bring out their phone and show me a photo of a lovely, almost new electronic baby swing that they have been given. It is just lovely. I am so touched by the generosity of some people (and slightly thankful for one less thing that is going to cost them money).
We stand outside in the warm dusk chatting to the kids as they get into their car. As they drive off, Dee and I walk back into the house. “They look so perfect together, don’t they?” Dee says.
“Yes, they do, my man, yes they do.”
“I mean, she could have chosen worse men to fall pregnant to, couldn’t she? Like that tattooed loser she once came home with.” I laugh. I remember him well. Thank goodness he isn’t the father of her offspring.
No, Jay and Em have all the makings of a happy, long relationship and it makes me one very happy Gogo indeed.