Monday, October 29, 2012

The Name Game...and Growing Pains

Do you think that me not being able to separate my child's name from my dog's name has scarred him and made him want to CHANGE his name??!!!
Does he not want to be a Henry because his name is Happy Henry...or Henry Happy , too ???!!!
When he entered those tween years , starting at about age 10, Henry all of a sudden started saying James when someone would ask him his name. I would always say, stop saying that, Henry.  Everyone calls you Henry. You should say Henry.  He would say my name is James.  That's my first name. Technically, that is true. But, he has been Henry since he was born.  Dear Hubby is the James in the family, although it is his middle name.  (We won't discuss the first name ...Rufus)
Around that time, also, His favorite words to me, if I tried to help him with anything, were "Mom, stop, treating me like a baby!" Eventually, I learned to start backing away when I had the urge to tuck in his shirt or brush something off his shoulder or ask if he had brushed his teeth.  I have stopped as much as I can, treating him like a baby.  So, I don't hear those words any more.  Just the occasional. "Mom, I can do it, myself ...or just simply "Mom!!!!" I know what that means, so, now, I just have to look at a safe distance at him becoming "this man" that he IS becoming!
When he first started this new assertion of independence,  I would hold my Dear Happy close and cuddle him tight , While saying in a loud enough voice for all in the household to hear : " Happy is my Sweet Baby ! Henry's not my Sweet Baby, anymore, Happy is the only one who knows how to be a sweet baby . He is the sweetest baby in the world.  Henry used to protest a bit ..with sad eyes ( or was he rolling his eye??!!) and say. “I'm still your Sweet Baby.”
Now, when I go through my routine (which I do, often) he just looks at us and smiles ( or is that a smirk?) and says nothing .
In my mind, of course he will always be my sweet baby.
And, to this Mom, he will always be THE SWEETEST BABY IN THE WORLD...and Henry!
No, I really don't think that my son has been scarred or wants to change his name because I call him ...and the dog Henry/Happy or Happy/Henry.   I have come to accept the fact that my sweetest baby is becoming his own man. I am always, still, a little taken aback when all of his teachers address him as James and I have to remember to say James when I am talking about him to them. I really DO love watching him grow into a fine young man, but at times like these when I reflect, try to put my emotions into words as I feel something slipping slowly ( or all too quickly) away from me , I try to keep myself together... and hope that all the tears don't short out my computer .
I am having growing pains!


My son's name is Henry,

It's the only name he could be;
He looks and talks and acts
Just like a Henry to me.
His grandfather's name is Henry (James Henry)
And his uncle's a Henry ,too. (Brian Henry)
Three of his great grandfathers
Were even Henrys, too.
He had a great uncle Henry,
He's one we can't forget ;
And I'm sure on down the line,
There are other Henry's, yet .
I hope that Henry will wear with pride,
The name that is his lot,
And always hold most dear to him,
The strong legacy that he's got .

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-
A Life in Poems © 2008 Patricia Neely Dorsey

Age 12- June 2011

2 days before his 13th birthday