My first-born turns 13 today! Happy Birthday, Bug! We love you, and I thank God for you. You were my precious little peach-fuzz baby. Actually I called her Peach for the first couple of weeks, until it morphed into Ladybug, which was shortened to Bug or Bugie. You are turning into a wonderful young lady! I’m so proud of you. (Of course, she’s probably not going to read this any time soon.)
Isn’t it weird, the love names we give our kids? Pally has been Gator, Gator Baby, Ally Cat, Ally Gator, Ally being a diminutive of her real first name. We shorten their names, we add vowels to the end of sections of their names, where they don’t belong. (Just ask my hubby, who grew up being called Ricky.) I was Jaws, Jawsie, Jessa, Jessa Lee, Punkin’, Myrtle (to my Dad, alone) and to one Great Aunt, I guess I was Jill for a while, my first two initials being J & L, she just made the leap. The one I hated as a kid was Jessie, Jesse, Jessi…it didn’t matter how you spelled it, it made my skin crawl and my teeth clench. As an adult, I had male friends who decided to call me Miss Jessie. That one, I didn’t mind, but I think that had a lot to do with the personality of people who used it. They were friends with the Hubs first, and were very gentlemanly. It felt more respectful. I’m the Mom that hates for her kids to call other adults just by their first names, so if we are close friends (or they were my grown cousins, the ones in my parents generation) the girls put Aunt or Uncle in front of the first name, just like I did as a child. If they are not quite so close it is Mr., Miss, or Mrs. First Name. Of course, kids have a hard time with the distinction between Mrs. and Miss. so often it’s just Miss….Funny, I just realized that I refer to the cousins in my generation as Cousin So and So to my kids. I wonder if when they talk to them, they call them Cousin So and So? I never really paid attention, but I will now. Of course, the fact that I have a cousin who many still call Brother (his childhood nickname), leads to all kinds of confusion. When you hear yourself say, “You know, your cousin Brother,” to your kids, you stop and think for just a minute, and wonder if your Hubby calling you JessaBob, inferring that you are a red-necked Hillbilly, isn’t awfully fitting. My family is one for nick names. Especially my Mom’s side. My Grandpa had a nick name for everyone. This is the man most referred to as Doc, even though he was a welder by trade. I need to ask someone how he came by that nickname I believe he’s the one who gave me the nick name of Jawsie. My Mom is Honey. Has been Honey for time immemorial. Her first name doesn’t even start with an H. The only H in her name was at the end of her maiden name. It has nothing to do with the sound of the word, yet there are a ton of people in our hometown who wouldn’t know who she was if you said her first name to them. Ask me how confusing it is to introduce your Mom to people and stumble every time, quickly trying to decide if it’s someone she should be introduced to as Honey or her given name.
Then there is my Hub’s family. Three of the four boys go by their middle names, except my Hubby. He goes by a shortened version of his first name, but not the traditional part. His name is Roderick, and goes by Rick. My sister-in-law, well, my Hubby just calls her Mugs, and some how, but the rest of us call her Mara. Then there are the nieces & nephew nick names, but I’m not sure how many of those are standard or just inside crazy Aunt Jessa’s head.