What Mothers can do to their kids

There are so many things that Mothers can do to and for their children - most good, some bad, but as Mothers ,those good things and bad things can leave a mark.  A permanent mark.

When I was a little boy, everybody in the neighborhood called me "Fatboy".  Family.  Friends.  Neighbors.  Everybody I knew from the 'hood.  And even some of the people from school.

I never questioned the name.  It just was what everybody called me.  It didn't matter that I was the skinniest kid on the block, except for Joey who lived next door.  It didn't matter, because it was the only name anyone called me, except at school.  And when my Mom would stand on the front porch and call me in to supper and she would yell "Looouuuu-aaassss".  So some smart asses called me Lou-ass.  But not for long.  Mom's Iowa accent made my name sound wrong when she said it - I was glad when she called me Fatboy.

It lasted until I was 17 and went into the Marines.

Fast forward 30 years or so.  I still run into people who call me Fatboy - only now it's an embarrassment more than a lovingly remembered childhood nickname.  I've been married, this time, for 16 years and it's my 3rd son's 1st birthday.

Mom and I are talking with friends and the subject of names and nicknames comes up.  I mention that my childhood nickname was "Fatboy".

My Mom looks at our friends and says, "Oh yeah.  I gave him that name when he was six months old.  I picked him up out of his crib and said, 'There's my Fat Boy' and it stuck."


She had never told ME how I got that name.  I had never really wondered, until, as an adult, I ran into people who made me wonder how the hell I got hung with a name like that. (Of course, NOW it fits.) 

It Was My Mom. 

Mothers.  Don't call your children anything you wouldn't want them to deal with for the rest of their lives.



Megryansmom said...

Guess it's time to stop calling Jakie 'the fat one' But the kid is HUGE! And I don't even want to mention what the kids called me in school, but it hurt and still does.

Tara R. said...

When I was a little kid, 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' first aired on TV. For some reason my dad adopted the name 'Grinch' for me. He called me that for years, well into my adulthood. Only he called me that, but I loved it. I can see that 'Fat Boy' wouldn't be as endearing.

Nan Sheppard said...

OK :)

Big Mark 243 said...

I never had a nickname... and that has been one of the regrets of my life...

I think that you could have done a lot worse that "Fat Boy"... funny about that Iowan accent... definitely makes one sound like they are a "flatlander", doesn't it..?