Monday, July 8, 2013

Nicknames ...


Marlene Terry
His name is Fred ... one of those cute little babies pictured today. ... That is, "Fred" is the name that he's known by far and wide now, even being called that by his coworkers.
It's not his legal name but a name he's been called by since he was small. And whenever I hear people talking about him using his 'real' name, I feel like they're talking about a stranger.

Nicknames always have funny stories that tell why a person is tagged that way. And generally, once we hear the story, it makes perfect sense. 
It's no secret that a nickname is assigned because of traits and incidents that folks we meet, usually in the first part of our lives, remember with much affection. Nicknames also come because someone wanted to honor someone else — a favorite relative or friend. And because of that, those who we become acquainted with later in life, have no clue why we're referred to that way.

... For me there is never a time when I see one of those olden days photos of my darling little twin sons, that I don't remember "Ryan" (his real name) sitting in his high chair winding thread from one of the spools in my sewing room around his finger.

... And with all the practice he got during the first few years of his life he became very proficient at it.

The most endearing part was that the action was soon accompanied by his own made up little song:
"Whiney, whiney, whiney fred," (translation: "Winding, winding, winding thread"), he'd repeat over and over in a sing-song way.
And I don't think I ever once wondered why that spool of thread, winding it up and letting it down again, became one of his favorite pastimes. With so many children to care for, I was just happy to let him enjoy the process and assisted him whenever he needed the help.
"Don't cry sweetie. I'll get your 'fred,'" I'd say whenever he dropped it and became inconsolable or cranky. Or soliciting help from other family members, I'd yell, "Everyone look for the 'fred' right now and give it to the baby!"
... Believe me when I say I will always will be grateful for that wonderful spool of 'fred.'

So that's the reason why a handsome young man with a million dollar smile now goes by the name of Fred, instead of and not even close to the name found on his birth certificate. 
It's because when he was small he enjoyed winding thread around his finger and singing about it. ... And those who love him most, STILL think that's pretty cute!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.