FYI: your first
nickname of record appears to have been "Bumblebee."
week after you were born, I sat down and wrote a rapturously
entry, all about how perfect and unique and wonderful you were. "Beginning
to think maybe she does look like
me, a little bit!" I wrote. "Round
face, pink cheeks,
luminous baby-blue eyes, tiny
rosebud mouth. My Sweet Bumblebee!”
I'm sure I
come up with the
perfect pet name for you, right out of the box. It was cute!
It was quirky! It was fun! The
course, was that you were nothing at all like a "Bumblebee” --
least, not at that point in your tiny life.
you were just this little round pink ball of newborn blobitude, wrapped
in a yellow receiving blanket with an Enfamil bottle clamped to your
went into the nickname scrap heap.
weeks/months/years that followed, we auditioned other special names for
"Boo-Boo." "Pumpkin." "Pollywog." "Jeep." "The
Boss." There was even
an ill-advised (mercifully brief)
flirtation with "Porkchop."
that stuck, of course, was "Puss." You and I both know the story
behind that one.
much as I've enjoyed saddling you with cute! quirky! fun! monikers,
over the years -- “Jamantha,”
names that have been the most
entertaining have been the ones you've invented for yourself. "Dr. Jones." "Dee-Dee."
"More-EEN, The Avon Lady." The infamous mid-90's switch from
"Jamie" to "Jaymi" (with which -- truth be told
make peace). For twenty-nine years, you've constantly
find new and fascinating ways to reinvent yourself. And
given yourself the names to match.
But this year
outdid yourself, didn't you?
I doodle your
married name at odd hours of the day and night ...
on hold with PG&E, while I'm waiting for my Lean Cuisine Sesame
Chicken to finish nuking, when I'm updating a grocery shopping list.
It's still feels very new, and I'll admit to an occasional
of disconnect, still. Who
world is Jaymi Polen-Palmer?? (If it makes you
better, it's pretty much the same way I felt when I got your hospital
birth certificate in the mail. Who
in the world is Jamie Lynn Polen?) When I look
new, married name, doodled in the margins of my notepad, I think of all
the other Jaymi/Jamies you have been, over the years, and I feel a
twinge of *sad* for days passed, for opportunities missed, for
little girls with toy stethoscopes dangling around their necks, for
tiny round pink balls of newborn blobitude. But mostly
as I sit here looking at your new, married name, there's a feeling of
pride, and of joy for you both, and of YES OK RELIEF (that you've
married someone you LOVE, someone who loves you for YOU, someone who
has your back no matter what) .... and most of all
deep, unchanging love, for you, for my perfect unique wonderful
daughter, for always.
No matter what name you're