So, we are one week into Kindergarten and it’s been great . . . Phoebe comes home, has a snack, does her homework (yes, she has homework which I think is awesome!) and we talk. We talk about her day. Who she played with, what they learned, what activities they did. . and now, she talks about more than just recess and lunch time.
We have the standard evening ritual: dinner, bath or shower, read/talk and bedtime. I’ve really been enjoying these moments with her. She’s 5 now and we can actually have a conversation and she asks really great questions.
Last night she asked me, “Mommy, who named me Phoebe?” Me: “Your daddy and I did. Why?”
P: after a little bit of silence. . “Phoebe doesn’t really sound like a girl’s name. I wish I had another name.”
Me: Feeling kind of shocked after what she just said and wondering what happened and if someone said something to her. I quickly say to her “Well, do you want to know why we chose the name Phoebe?”
Me: “We chose the name Phoebe because it means bright and shining and radiant.”
P: “What does radiant mean?”
Me: Thinking I have to explain this in 5 year old language. “Bright and sparkly, like a diamond. Like something very special.”
P: after some silence again. . “Oh ok, I like my name.”
I later asked if something had happened at school. . if someone made fun of her name or something. When she was younger, little kids (and her baby sister does now) would call her “BeBe” which I don’t think she seemed to mind. . but maybe she did and she never said anything. When my husband and I chose her name, the only thing I was worried about was her having to spell it and getting over the whole phonics thing with “P-H”. You’d be surprised how many times her name has been butchered. . We were at the doctor’s office one day and the nurse or assistant calls her name. “Fe-weh-be”. “Fe-weh-be Choi.” I finally realize she’s mispronouncing PHOEBE so I get up, we walk over to her and I say as politely as I can, “It’s actually Phoebe.” Am I crazy? How can you mispronounce this name?
So anyway, I don’t think anything actually happened and maybe she is just processing and thinking about all the names of all her new friends in school and wondering about her own. She has already made a few friends that she talks about a lot. One is Charlotte. P really likes her and they eat lunch together everyday. Maybe P was wondering why she didn’t have a name like Charlotte. I don’t know.
Last night I was getting emotional (I do this now. I blame the kids.) thinking about the world out there and my girls and wanting to shield them and protect them from everything. But also wanting to equip them and build in them a strong foundation of independence, self confidence and security. . . Because I know they will not always have me there to stick up for them or to kindly intervene if so and so has the toy that someone wants to play with.
Tell your kids you love them. . . everyday.
So, I’m left with this: Kids grow up fast. Make each day count as much as you can. Talk to your kids, hug them, kiss them, spend time with them. And tell them you love them.
Believe in them. Encourage them. Help them. Teach them. As parents, we can only do so much. . but that so much is a lot.
So, what’s in a name? A whole hell of a lot, I think! So, pick and choose with much thought and love.
**I think being a mom is the hardest job ever and I screw up and learn something new everyday. I guess that’s why God gives us tomorrow. So, we can screw up, yell, love and learn again.**