Monday, August 21, 2006

Call My Name

When he calls me Mom, my attention snaps to whatever he is saying.

When she calls me Mimi, my heart melts into puddles of love.

The more I study the Bible, the more I am aware of the significance of names. People intentionally chose names for their children based on their circumstances or based on the kind of person they wanted their child to become. God gave people new names after encounters with Him. Our name resonates in our bodies every time we hear someone say it – whether in love or anger.

My own name means “beloved.” I never thought much about the meaning until the times in my 20s when I didn’t feel much loved. But I would imagine my parents sitting on the couch late at night, my Dad’s hand on my Mom’s big belly, a baby (me) bursting at the seams to enter the world, and them picking my name with love on their minds and with love flowing between their hearts to mine.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is how our names and, therefore identities, are added to as we become parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. These are the names that grab my heart and pull them toward Heaven.

I remember the first time Mike called me Mom, and for every day thereafter. Because he was 14 and made a conscious choice to give the gift of mom to me, I hope I never take the title for granted. I hope hearing him call “Mom” always stops me in my tracks with the wonder of God’s plan for our family.

I think with great melting of heart the way “Mimi” (what my grandkids call me) sounds in the voice of a 2 and 3 year old. Just today, Natalie (almost 2 years old) and I spent some time together swinging, playing airplane, throwing pebbles (don’t tell her mom) and just being alive together. I can hear the softness of her toddler voice with hope and trust calling me Mimi.

I smile to think I am an Aunt to two boys. Perhaps the title with the least amount of responsibility, but with the greatest capacity for fun. I love talking with Hunter, who has a better vocabulary than many people with whom I went to college. And while they live too far away, I love that they are my nephews, and that we will spend fun times together, crazy times.

What’s in a name?

A prism of all that we are and more.


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