Crazy Nana Mary Monday, Apr 29 2013 

Mary and Tyler.Baptism

From the first moment I thought of my children coming into my life, I loved them. They mean the world to me, and as they’ve grown into beautiful adults, inside and out, I continue to love them more and more.

But something happened when my two grandsons were born in February. As hard as it is for me to believe, I may love these babies more. When my children are on the floor playing with the babies, I trip right over my children to rush to my grandsons. I can’t help it. I am so enthralled with these little guys I can’t see anyone or anything else.


I’m out of control. I know it. No matter how tired or busy, I drop everything to see them. I act like a bumbling idiot around them; covering them in kisses, making funny faces and noises, and trying all kinds of antics to get their attention.

Their little faces are imprinted on my mind from the moment I wake until I fall asleep, and I dream of them all night long. When they smile at me, oh my goodness, it is a moment in heaven. And if they coo, I can’t look away until they get tired of me. Every little sound they make is the most captivating thing I’ve ever heard. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.

I was warned this would happen. Friends with grandchildren told me it would be like this. But truly, I couldn’t imagine it. My friends already knew that grandparenting has all the benefits of parenting without the drawbacks of sleepless nights or endless parental responsibilities. Grandparents get the perks without the problems. It’s pure joy.

All I can say world, is that you better straighten up. No more wars, intolerance, unkind words, or hateful deeds. Nana wants – no demands – a better world for her grandchildren. And there’s no crossin’ Nana.

(Photo of Tyler and Mary by Erin Lukasiewicz)

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Double Blessing Thursday, Feb 21 2013 

Last week I challenged you to a double adjective elimination. The goal was to see how long we could go without using the words amazing or awesome. How well did you do?

I didn’t last 24 hours.

On Friday, February 15, 2013 my first grandchild was born. Daniel John entered this world at 8 lbs 9 ozs, 21.5 inches long. He is a beautiful boy with a full head of dark hair. The first word I said when I saw him was, “Amazing!”

Daniel John

Daniel John

Only three days later, on Monday, February 18, 2013 my second grandson was born. Tyler Matthew weighed 8 lbs and measured 20 inches long. He has the sweetest little round face and brown hair.

Tyler Matthew

Tyler Matthew

We knew there was a chance our angels would arrive around the same time. My oldest daughter was due on the 8th and my younger daughter was due on the 21st ; but we didn’t expect them to be so close in delivering.

Nor did we know the genders, so when the proud fathers entered the waiting room and announced what they were, we screamed with excitement. It didn’t matter if the babies were boys or girls, yet we were surprised and delighted.

My faith is strong but watching my daughters in labor and waiting to know how those thousands of prayers would be answered–that hopefully all would be well with them and their babies–was very stressful. To experience that twice in such a short time has left me emotional, joyful, and so very grateful.

Holding those babies in my arms is the greatest gift. They are perfect reflections of God’s love. I am so blessed to have incredible children, married to supportive and loving spouses, who together have given me two grandsons in three days.

If that isn’t amazingly awesome, what is?

©2013 Mary K. Doyle

Baby Names Thursday, Aug 23 2012 

Naming a child is serious business. It’s one of the first major responsibilities of a parent and can have life-long benefits or consequences.

Parents must consider how the name represents their child. Is the name presidential, honorable, bizarre, or trashy? Does it sound like someone who is a CEO or a fish monger – not that there is anything wrong with fish mongers?

A good idea is to practice saying the name repeatedly, because that is exactly what you will do in the near future. Does it roll off your tongue? Do you enjoy hearing it aloud? And if there are siblings, how do all the names sound together? Do you really want to say, “Tom, Tim, Tucker, Tyler time to eat?”

So how do you find a good, solid name that isn’t so unusual that no one will remember it or pronounce it correctly and yet not so common everyone in town has the same name?

The current trend is to choose names that are different from previous generations. Social Security lists the top ten names for 2011 as Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, Noah, Michael, Ethan, Alexander, Aiden, and Daniel for boys and Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Mia, and Chloe for girls. The names indeed are different from their parents’ generation but the drawback is that they are so common today that they likely will be in classrooms with peers with identical names.

Throughout the ages parents named their children after relatives. Perhaps my future grandchildren may have names of their ancestors such as Florence, Clara, Walter, or Gus. If they want something more ordinary there were at least five generations of John Doyle’s that has come to an end. They can use both names; John as a first and Doyle as a middle name. Hopefully, they don’t use that name for a girl.

Catholics traditionally named their babies after saints. The goal was to find a name of someone you wanted your child to emulate. You simply opened the Bible. The apostles’ names and Mary and Elizabeth ranked at the top of the list for centuries. Even so, you do have to read the character’s story or you may deal with a Jezebel or Judas.

The Eastern and American Indians name their children after an activity or something they see such as Running Bear, Grinding Corn, and Morning Sun. Today you might translate that practice into names like Playing-Games-on-IPads, Texting Friends, or Speeding-Red-Toyota.

Some parents prefer to create their child’s name. If you enjoy juicy hamburgers you can name your child Jusiamburger. Or if you are a North Side Chicagoan you can forever enjoy shouting your child’s name, Cubbieswin. But note with this method, other people will have difficulty pronouncing and spelling your child’s name correctly.

As a potential parent, you also have to consider the initials. Betty Ann Davis is a nice name but you don’t want your child’s initials to be BAD.

Really though, none of this matters. Whatever name you choose, your child will hate it. They will prefer a shorter, longer, fancier, or planer name. They’ll use only their middle name or change all of it. And if women continue to take their spouses last name, their overall name will completely be messed up. I know of a woman named Shirley who married a man with that last name. She now is Shirley Shirley. Bet her parents never anticipated that.

Maybe the best option is to simply write a bunch of names on strips of paper, toss them into a hat, say a prayer, and draw one out. A child is God’s greatest blessing  so let God choose.

(Photo of Erin, Lisa, Joey. 1982. Photographer unknown.)

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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