Monday, December 31, 2012

What's in a Name?

According to T.S. Eliot's Poem, The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter.  Each cat must have THREE different names.  One that that family uses daily, practical every day names.  Then there are names that belong to just one cat.  And lastly, there is the name that no human research can discover, the name that the cat himself only knows.  So if you see a cat in profound meditaiton its because he is contemplating his ineffable effable, effanineffable, Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

I was surprised at how much of this poem I remembered from the musical Cats.  It started me thinking about names I use for people in my life. People who have been there for a long time and I love very much.

I have many parents of friends that I call "Mom" or "Dad"  Nancy and Ray are Mom and Dad.  AZ's mother is Mom.  Kimber's Mom was "Mom" before she passed.  Janet's mom is "Mom."  Its just easier and most of the parents don't mind.

But for ESM, who has been a part of the family for SO many years, I still call her by her first name.

When I refer to Dad and ESM together, I say my parents.  To Jakes, she is Grandmom and has been for many years. 

But I just can't seem to bring myself to call her Mom.  Or even some variation of Mom.  She has never tried to take the place of my mom.  When I need a mom, she is there in whatever way I wish.  When Kathy would refer to ESM as my mom, I would correct her.

Why am I so afraid to have this world think I am this fabulous woman's daughter? Most people who know us, know my mother passed and know that ESM is not my biological mother.

Her birthday is in January and Dad and I are at a loss as to what to get her.  Maybe my gift to her will be to call her Mom.  Its an inexpensive gift yet one that could mean the world to her.


  1. naming is powerful stuff....we live with those names....and when we hear them they bear special significance...

    happy new year amy...

  2. I think that would be a wonderful gift but only do it if it feels right to you.

  3. Oh, I get this one.

    I have a great step mom. Truly a lovely person. Though my folks split long long before my mom died, so there's been a series of step moms over the years. I don't see me ever calling her Mom, but that's not a really a reflection of my feelings about my mom, more just how things are for a kid of divorce.

    I call my MIL Momma, but I've called her that since I was a teen and for many years before I was ever dating her son. We all did.

    I don't mind that the Cinder kids call me step mom, or by my name, even after 10 years of being in their lives. I get it and it doesn't hurt my feelings, but on the rare times when they do call me Mom instead of by name, oh does my heart soar.


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