Monday, December 21, 2015

12.21.15 What's in a name (or a monogram)?

"mom" tags - with kiddos birthstones
My husband and I just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.  Coincidentally, someone asked me recently why, even with all three of my kids out of the house, my husband refers to me as "mom"...and not by my name.  My response - that IS my name .

My full given name is Debra Suzanne Haas.  Debra, from the biblical judge Deborah – but my mother didn’t like the spelling of longer version.  I can’t really remember using my middle name much, for as long as I can remember I’ve been Debra S. Haas legally and professionally.  It’s what has always been on my driver’s license and business cards.  It’s how I sign my name. My mother, father and husband have always called me Debra.  My parents’ friends still call me Debra, but since high school, my own friends have called me Deb.

I’d never given my first name a lot of thought, probably because for those of us born in the 1960s it was a perfectly common and normal name.  As for my last name, I didn’t realize quite how attached to it I had become until the night before I got married.

James Avery disc earrings
My husband’s last name is Hood.  All three of our children are Hood.  I remain Haas. At our rehearsal dinner, someone asked if I was planning to change my name and I answered that I wasn’t sure.  My mom, who had a wicked sense of humor, said “well, you could hyphenate it and be Debra Haas-Hood, but if ‘haashood’ is the state of being a Haas, I don’t really see the point”.  That was it, I got married, my life changed, my name did not. 

When I got married, I became a stepmother to two wonderful young boys (now fine young men).  While I insisted they treat me with respect, and as a parent, I never asked them to call me anything other than Debra, because they have a mother who loves them very much.
Chicks Picks acrylic monograms

When I became pregnant with our daughter, my younger stepson, then three, became concerned.  “What should we call you after the baby comes” he asked?  “Why would you call me anything other than Debra?” I answered.  He told me he was worried that if he and his brother called me "Debra", that the baby would be confused and stated authoritatively that starting at that moment, he and his brother would call me “Mom”. (That baby just turned 20, and arrived home from college for the holidays over the weekend).

Even now, twenty years later, I kvell when I think of that day, because since then, I really have been “Mom”.  It’s what both the boys call me, it’s what my daughter calls me, even my husband uses Mom when he refers to me, or we are talking to each other.  So, while the name my parents gave me may be the one I use out in the world, it is “Mom”, the name my children gave me, that I cherish the most.
Stella & Dot "mom" and "D" charms

Until next time.

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