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Becoming Bibi

August 29, 2016

It’s been an eventful six months since I’ve done any blogging, and the most significant thing, outshining all other adventures, is that I became a grandmother. Clearly, millions — billions — of women have traveled this path, so my insights are nothing new except to me. Everyone I know who has entered grandparenthood told me it would be an unbelievable, indescribable place, and they were right. So I’m now a proud member of the club.

From his first days of life, when he was unbelievably tiny, he has been a wonder. I was awestruck, gobsmacked, and my heart is indescribably full of love for this boy and the special couple who made him. And the greatest gift I could ever have received was spending nearly every day with them from the time he was born till he turned three months old. He’s smiling and laughing now, figuring out how to hold rattles and make noise. He loves dancing and “exercising” to music. It’s hilarious when he starts “talking,” looking at us so seriously and babbling a story only he knows.

So where does Bibi come from? When I was in Tanzania in January, with my new friends Oscar and Amadeus from the coffee farm, people shouted at Oscar as we walked down the street in his village, asking him what he was doing with his Bibi. I learned it was Swahili for grandmother, and after I got over being mildly offended, I found out it’s their common practice to call women of a certain age Bibi — and men, similarly, Babu — as a sign of respect. So that solved the dilemma of what I would be called, and it seems to fit better than Mimi, or Grammy or Gran, or the countless other variations that happen when grandkids start to talk.

From → Life Events

2 Comments
  1. Marlo Quick permalink

    Love his sweet, sweet smile!

    Like

  2. Lovely tribute Bibi!💙

    Like

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