Friday, April 11, 2008

"You, 'Manda?"

Ever notice how love can completely color your opinion of something?

A guy tells you he loves the line of your neck?

You watch a movie on a first date starring an actor you had always hated?

Phil Collins suddenly becomes the most profound lyricist?

I've never disliked my name, granted, I always yearned for nicknames in high school and college. The traditional "Mandy" being something I couldn't abide as I had know a girl growing up who went by Mandy and who was mean through and through. I had the occasional nickname, but nothing that stuck. I don't have a - or - (I realize those are totally lame, but as I said, I never had a nickname).

Avery has started doing something that has me feeling like the day my parents chose to call Amanda was the day they gave me the greatest gift of my life. Each night as I lower myself into Avery's toddler bed, a sight which Sean has told me on more than one occasion is not pleasant to watch, she leans back and waits eagerly.

"You cuddle with me? You cuddle with Ave?"

After attempting to muffle a grunt and then trying to keep the panting from exertion to a minimum I say, "Yes, sweetie, mama is coming to cuddle with Ave."

She waits, and after I have settled in she puts one hand on my cheek, the crisp, clean scent of Aveeno baby wash surrounds me and sends me into a trance. Bubbles, baby skin, the soft sound of water lapping at the bath tub's edge seems to drift past my ear and then she says, "You 'Manda? You my 'Manda?"

Her eyes dance, searching my face and she smiles as I say, "Of course, baby, I'm your 'Manda," and she responds with a giggle, "I'm not your baby, I'm your Ave and you my 'Manda. Ave's 'Manda."

It is in these moments when I find myself perfectly nested in the core of the memories that will sustain me for the rest of my life.

So, to my parents, I say, "Thanks for making me your 'Manda, so that I could grow into being Ave's 'Manda."

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Crystal said...

I am going to wake the girls up from their naps right now so I can catch that kissy sleeping face.
I have never loved my name, but now the name I hear all day is Momma. I am so happy to have my new name.

Amy Y said...

So sweet!!

It always takes me back for a second when my kids call me Amy rather than Mom. It just sounds funny coming from their mouths and I do a double take.

I think 'Manda's the best nickname ever! :)

Cheryl said...

Left me a blubbering mess. My baby girl has a fever, so I'm in mama-loves-Anna-high-gear right now. I often wonder what nickname Anna will get stuck with. There are so many variations. And Ben? I've called him Poodle since the day he was born. Like you, I've never had a nickname before (unless you count psychob**ch, but that's a long story... 3 long stories actually).

Heather said...

All teary again from one of your posts!

Meredith said...

Your blog is one of my favorites. You are so good at capturing the essence of motherhood and what it means to love, love, love. Your writing is as close as it gets to experiencing the little moments that keep mamas going. I admire your gift. Thank you.

BetteJo said...

I wanted to be her 'Manda for a moment there.

So sweet and loving. Wonderfully told. :)

Cathy said...

I have a little 'Manda of my own.

"Amanda" was my great-grandmother's name. We gave it to our first.

Amy said...

So sweet, she is too precious.

Janet said...

She's sweet, that 'Ave. I take whatever my kids call me, too, except for that one time D. called me 'poo head' during his toilet humour stage. Not cool.

Lisa said...

I love this. So, so sweet! My little Lulu loving says "Mommy is Wisa"....the way she says Lisa warms my heart & makes me love my name too!

Kimberly said...

That is so sweet. It always throws me a bit when my older daughter calls me by my first name, but my second daughter absolutely refuses to acknowledge that I have a name. "You Mommy," she'll say. "Just Mommy. Nuffin' else." It kills me.

maggie, dammit said...

Instantly teary, nose stinging. Thanks, as usual.

Amanda was my mom's second choice for my name. I've always loved the song, "Amanda" by Don Williams. Boston? Not so much.