Not every child likes their first name.
My friend Paula for example refused to wear the oversized, diamond filled name plates that were popular back in the day.
“Why not?” we asked. “I don’t like my name” she said simply.
I couldn’t imagine not liking my name. I certainly couldn’t imagine admitting it to my mother if I did. The drama would have been epic.
When my son came to me and asked me to change his name to “Pee Wee” I wasn’t upset, it was my nickname for him since he was a toddler. I secretly thought it was endearing that he wanted me to call the school to advise everyone to call him by his new name, and I told everyone who would stand still for five minutes about my wonderful, creative, son.
When his birthday came around, I asked what he wanted written on the cake. I imagined his preferred spelling of Pewe in green.
His answer caught me off guard.
He said simply, “Happy Birthday Steve.”
“Really? What happened to Pewe?”
“I changed my mind.”
I was devastated. I trudged off to Carvel and gave instructions to the lady at the counter.
“Blue flowers please” I said without enthusiasm.
“What color writing?”
The little cake was boxed and bagged. I drove home with a heavy heart.
He beamed as we dimmed the lights. “Happy Birthday dear Stee-eeve! Happy Birthday to you!!” He blew out the candles in one breath. “Thanks Mom” he said as I passed him the first piece with the name Steve smudged (good luck you know…).
I kissed his sticky lips. “I love you PeeWee.”
“I love you too Mom.”
I knew I would get over my disappointment. What I didn’t know was, why he chose the name Steve. His name is Jason…