When we built, we built this house in place of the house that was here. Bob was raised here, actually Robert was raised here. In the family, I’m a bit of a villain. I changed his name to Bob. Now truth be told, he introduced himself to me as Bob. But I’ve never been able to convince the fam of this, and when I’m with his family I call him Robert. His Mother really resented my calling him Bob and told me about it many times over the years.
Robert is on the left above, Bob is on the right.
I’m not a real worrier about names. I usually have many names I call people and animals. My dog Jasper is Jasper Jones, Jasper Joe, Poodle (he’s not one), Pumpkin, Buddy, Booboo. There’re probably more, but those are the repeaters. Our neighbor calls him Buster. So his identity may be irreversibly screwed up. Luckily he’s good with all these names as long as his treats keep coming.
My in-laws were Adam and Maybelle. I love her name, I’m glad it isn’t mine but it fit her. Although, most people tried to call her Mable when they first met and saw her name. She set them straight about it right away. I just called them Mom and Dad. We were pretty close and it just felt right. I really never thought about it, it just always was Mom and Dad. I guess it was a bit of a big deal though. My hubby Bob (Robert) told me one time about going with his Dad somewhere. His youngest sister was about to marry a kid, and the family wasn’t too keen on him. Bob and his Dad were in the car and his Dad was saying how he didn’t like it when this kid called him Dad. He said ‘I’m not his Dad and nobody calls me Dad except my own kids, he can just call me Adam!’. Bob told me he looked at his Dad and said ‘Well, Dad, Shannon calls you Dad’. ‘Well, That’s different, cuz she, um she’s always called me that.’ He was laughing telling me because his Dad was a staunch German fella that didn’t like to show feelings too much. I loved him dearly and hugged him every chance I got. Mostly getting a stiff arm hug back, but he never pulled away. I think I was wearing him down.
Like I said, he wasn’t much on emotions, but he used to refer to Maybelle as Mommy. I suppose that came from raising 5 kids together. I know when our kids were young Dad was used much more than Bob or Robert to refer to my husband. But Dad (Adam) had one sentence that used to warm my heart. When he was saying something about the two of them, Adam & Maybelle. He would say…”I and Mommy are going”…to the store, or bank or wherever. I know, right? It’s wrong on so many levels. I’m a bit of a stickler for proper grammar (mostly), and normally that sentence would set my teeth on edge. But, spoken by this sometimes grumpy, unsentimental German guy it just made my heart kind of go pittypat. His heart showed through just a bit in those moments.
My Mom was Mom. Her name was Beulah, but all of us kids introduced her as Mom and our friends all called her Mom until the day she passed. She wouldn’t have answered to anything else, I don’t think. When I’d introduce her to my friends, I’d say ‘this is my Mom, her name is Beulah but we haven’t taught her that yet so everyone calls her Mom’.
Our grandkids call us Grama and Grampa Cow. Joey, our oldest Grandson had a lot of grandparents still alive and this is how he kept track of us. He had a Grandma & Grandpa Motorhome, Chicken, and 5th wheel. Bob and I loved our names, we used to raise cows so we thought it fit perfectly, some others didn’t care for their given monikers. I actually enjoy the looks people give when they hear me spoken to as Grama Cow. The rest of the grands now call us that too. We will forever be lovingly known as Grama Cow & Grampa Cow.
My oldest son and his wife call each other “Husband” and “Wife”. I don’t know how this got started but they both do it, and honestly, I think it’s kind of cute…for them. They’ll be at the house for Christmas and you might hear, “Wife, did you get the eggnog” or “Husband, can you grab my jacket?” I’ve heard people remark that they think it’s so disrespectful. I don’t know why it would be, but I know some people just like to stick to the given names.
I miss the days of good ol’ nicknames. Sparky and Spanky. Tiny, for the huge guy down the block. Smitty for Mr. Smith next door. Scoop for the local reporter.
What do you think about nicknames? Do you have one? Do you use them for your kids or friends? If you could pick your own, what would you choose? Me? I couldn’t do any better than Grama Cow.