Nicknames can be mean, intended to make fun of their recipient. But they can also be funny and endearing. I’ve had several during my lifetime. Spaghetti and Kelley Girl top the list. Each name attached to a person or memory.
This week I received a new one. And though I’m unsure of the original intent, I have no doubt about the outcome. It all began with a group of fourth-grade boys.
As students entered my classroom on Monday, I overheard some boys laughing and saying, “Abuelita.” I smiled, “They think I don’t know what that means.”
“Did someone just call me Grandma?” I chuckled. “I am not your Grandma, although I am old enough.” I smiled, assuring them I was teasing. The boys grinned.
Soon we were playing Christmas Song Bingo. The group of boys was a little chatty during the game. After reminding them several times to be quiet and listen, I decided to have a little fun.
With the help of Google, I discovered how to say, “My grandson talks too much” in Spanish. After repeating the phrase in my head several times, it was time to act. I quietly walked over to the boys, leaned down and said, “Mi Nieto habla demasiado.”
The look on their faces was priceless! We had a good laugh and continued with our game.
At the end of all my classes, I like to stand at the door and tell each student goodbye, have a good day, see you next time, etc. Today was the “Abuelita” class again. As they were leaving, one of the boys smiled, gave me a big hug and said, “Bye, Grandma.”
I have no idea whether or not my new nickname will stick. But if it does, I will answer. It represents a connection with another student. And that is what truly matters.