To my grandchildren, I am known as “Darmie.” It’s not a name that will ever be found in a dictionary or thesaurus because it’s a name that I made up. Not for myself— rather for my own grandmother. You see, when I was just learning to talk, I couldn’t pronounce Grammy, so therefore Darmie was born. It would have been senseless for anyone to correct me. In my mind, my beloved grandmother could never be anything but Darmie.
There have been three of us Darmies so far and I expect there will be a few more. That’s the great thing about traditions— they are the foundation to some of life’s most precious experiences.
Speaking of traditions, we just returned from a long Thanksgiving weekend at our North Country camp where we were joined by our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Our grandson is almost four and in love with dinosaurs. Our granddaughter, two, is a girly girl who is very proud of the fact that her hair is now long enough to be put into pigtails. It was a never ending display of contrasts, Baby Girl and I accessorizing with hair ribbons; Big Boy and his grandfather dueling their dinosaurs
“Grampa, this is my Triceratops.”
“Very good. And what is this one?” he said, holding up Triceratops’ opponent.
“That’s a Pickledactyl.”
“You mean Pterodactyl.”
“No, it’s a Pickledactyl.”
I sighed. Better to quit while you’re ahead, Gramps. Sometimes the made up words are just better.