Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things that keep me up at night, Volume 1

Our son's given name is Thomas Alan Michael Dater.  Yes, he has 2 middle names.  My husband doesn't have a middle name so I thought if Tommy had two, it would bring the universe back into balance.

Lately I've been wondering if I have scarred him for life by calling him "Tommy".  Tommy was very appropriate for a new born.  Even though he was all wrinkley like an old man, calling an infant "Thomas" or "Tom" didn't feel right.  Quite honestly I don't think I was the first one to call him Tommy once he was born.  I was pretty disheveled after the whole experience and I don't think I called him anything but "Pumpkin" for a couple of days.  Once we got home he was being fussy and I remember my mom saying something like "Oh Tommy, what's the matter" and from then on that's what we called him. I guess I needed to hear someone else call him that first or something, I don't know.

So getting to my point.  He's 7 and Tommy is still appropriate.  I know my dad had all of these little old lady aunts who called him Tommy until they died.  So even as a fully grown man, he was still called Tommy.   My Grandma doesn't call him Tommy though, I wonder if she ever did?

What if Tommy doesn't want to be called Tommy when he gets older?  He has all of these friends at school and none of them have names like Mikey or Jackie or Benny.  They are all Michael and Jack and Ben.  Even his friends in the neighborhood have names like Zachary (NOT Zach), Pablo and Raphael.  When I was a kid we had kids named Billy and Scotty and Jimmy. 

Growing up my friend Julie had two brothers, Tom and Bobby.  Tom was never referred to as Tommy in my recollection, but Bobby was always Bobby.  Maybe because he was the youngest, or the baby of the family, I'm not sure.  I wonder what he's called today?  I know she reads my blog so maybe she'll let me know.

What if Tommy comes comes home one day and says "don't call me Tommy anymore, call me Tom"?  I'll tell you now that my heart will break.  But I can also understand if he doesn't want to go through high school, college and beyond as Tommy.  I just don't see him as a Tom or Thomas.  My only hope is that it doesn't happen any time soon!

1 comment:

  1. My Dad, and two of my school mates, did exactly that. My Dad changed his name back to his "proper" name when he left high school, because he thought it sounded more adult.

    My friends (both girls) had asian nicknames whose meanings were not nice. One meant "flea" and the other meant "pest". So they changed theirs in high school as the other kids learned the asian languages of their birth through school and found out what the nicknames meant!!