Monday, September 12, 2011

***Doff thy initials

*** Some of you may note, this is the first time I have used the boys' names on the blog.

The truth is, it is just too hard to write about them now using the sterile initials. In real life, they are so 3D and vibrant and textured... AND so much of who they are starts with what we call them.

At least Jake, on occasion, gets called "JB" by me, outside of the sphere of the GSO. But Milo is Milo and writing "ML" instead of "Milo" feels like a big lie. It feels a little too much like creating a clumsy alias "He-who-must-not-be-named"... It feels like having to watch the entire Wizard of Oz in black and white... At this point in time, using only their initials feels like I'm putting a veil or blanket over the heads of 2 of my most favorite people in the whole world.

When they were first born, using initials for the boys seemed like the right way to "protect" them and give them some anonymity. But that does not seem necessary now. These boys are so far from anonymous (especially to the readers of this blog). Continuing to use their initials in place of their names is like trying to explain their personalities without words. Katy and I love the boys' names so much and we think each has grown into their name, enriched the name we gave them beyond even what we hoped it might mean. Each has filled his name with depth and definition and also bent like a moon into the pull of his name. I agree with Shakespeare, that a being would likely be unchanged if it had been given another name. Yet, our boys cannot be separated from their names in my mind. The essence of who they are is entirely intertwined with their names.

We call Jacob- "Jacob", "Jake", "Jakey", "J", "JB", "Jacob Brian". He answers to all of those, but ALWAYS introduces himself as "Jacob". One time, I asked him if he wanted me to call him "Jacob", if he minded that we called him Jake (I held my breath, knowing that this would break my heart a little, if he asked me not to call him Jake. But the first rule of caring for someone in nursing is you ask what s/he wants to be called. If you respect someone, you let him define himself and not impose or omit his name or title... Even if you are the people that named him.) Jake replied, "no, you can call me Jake... or Jacob". He was nonchalant and steadfast. And I felt so relieved that he seemed to really be comfortable with the options we offered him when we named him.

Milo is Michael Logan (yes... like J-Lo). When we named him, we figured, he wouldn't be tied to a "trendy" name if he didn't like or "fit into" Milo. But I would be shocked if he grew to be called anything else. He is "Milo" as much as tree is "tree". "ML" is just off-putting and lame compared to this dynamic little force of light and life and willful opinions and giggles and sweet kisses and musical prowess and hypnotizing stares that we call "Milo".

I love these boys!
I love who they are more than what we call them.
But I do also really love their names.

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