Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Nicknames and Such
Nicknames are a curious thing. Anyone who currently has or has ever raised a baby, would tell you that they have a long mutating string of nicknames for their child. Being a former Richardson, I had a feeling that I would have a bit of a problem with this. My family, as many of you know, is very weird. My brother and I can talk to each other in a made up language and, although we can hold back in public, when we are all toghether we make a strange bunch.
My brother Ryan (or "Unca Rat") gave Ben his first nickname before he was even born. He was "The Cub." Now, Ben has many nicknames. The most popular are as follows : Chim, Chim Chim, Peet, Peety, Poot, Poot Patterson, Bug, Boy, Babykins, Budge, Budgee ... and the list goes on.
I suppose that I should back-track a bit and explain. My parents had a list of nicknames for me and Ryan that could be recited for hours. I grew up being called Rin, Rinny, and Doot. There was even a year when Ryan refused to call my dad anything but Snavely. I'm pretty sure that Ben didn't have a chance.
Although our nicknames are silly, I know that they are universal. In my eyes, I see nicknames as an honor. Other than stupid kids at school, the people that give us our nicknames are the ones that mean the most to us. A nickname is a way of saying , "We love you, we know you better than anyone else, and to show you that, we will call you a name that nobody else knows or understands." Our nicknames are like passports to the inside circle of a family.
Ben will probably decide that he doesn't like to be called Chim someday, most likely when he becomes a teenager. But once he realizes that his nickname is so much more than a silly made up word, I'll bet he'll want it back. Or he will at least ask to be called Chim at home ... just not in front of his buddies. He may even read this someday when he has a baby of his own and get a good laugh, because he will use nicknames too.
Posted by E. E. Smith