What's In a Name

When I was a kid, I hated my name. No one could spell it or pronounce it right. The first day of school was always met with high anxiety because all the kids waited with me to see if the teacher would butcher my name--and possibly assume that I was a boy. And whenever I went to the dentist, I would answer to the name "Sheila Sadian" because that's the way the receptionist read my name during my first visit at age 7. Consequently, I was Sheila until the day I left for college.

I recently had to embroider something with my name on it and for the first time in my (eh-hem) 29 years I have regarded it with pride. Something about the ascenders and descenders in this particular font gracefully and graciously transformed it. I look at it and can't believe that it's me.

My husband has always loved my name, much to my embarrassment. And even though I may blush whenever he calls out to me in public, I bask in the sound. He says it in a self-assured tone, never rushing each syllable. And this is coming from the man whose father called me "Russia" for an entire day. He says my name and I still go weak in the knees after 10 years of marriage. 

My kids have somewhat unique names, though they are not without some historical family significance. My daughter Masana is named after my mother and my son Mackinley is named after...well, okay, we named him after a mountain and a president (and misspelled it, too). But I love their names. I just hope they come to love their names as much as I do. I hope they hear the love in my voice when I call out their name, even if I'm mad as heck for something they did. And I hope that they won't have to wait until their are (eh-hem) 29 to come across some crappy old brown bag with their name embroidered on it to finally realize that their names are as special as they are.