I'm very sorry. I know chaos is reigning over in the Middle East, wildfires are burning in California, and the world is full of daily ugliness, but I have to write lighter posts at a time like this. I read all these "heavy" posts elsewhere -- they both inform me and leave me heavy-hearted. I can't write like that right now. I'll leave it for others...
Growing up as the youngest child and the only daughter, I figured it was clear that I was a girl, especially since I had a girl's name to prove it. So why then did my mother often call me by my brothers' names or my father's name? I couldn't understand when she stumbled on her words in trying to get out the right name. Wasn't it plain to see? Pearl was standing beside her. Pearl and ONLY Pearl. So why was I suddenly being referred to as Jacob (my father's name)?
Well, Mom, I apologize for all those times that I personally wondered, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, MOM? CAN"T YOU TELL WHO I AM BY NOW?"
Why do I apologize? Because I've noticed that I do the same damn thing!
I want to talk to my daughter who is beside me. I know it's my daughter. I know she's the only one in the room with me. I know she was given a beautiful feminine Hebrew name at birth. So what on earth possesses me to call her by one of her brothers' names? Better yet, why do I often do a roll call when I'm calling for her, and only her. I will somehow yell out all three kids names, one after the other, stumbling over each as I realize my mistake and try to get the RIGHT name for the right kid.
Why is it that when my oldest brother is in town, or if I talk to him on the phone, I will call him by my husband's name and I'll call my husband by my brother's name? This only happens with this particular brother.
But the best/worst scenario of all: since we became dog owners some 3 1/2 years ago, why is it that I would mix up the dogs' names with my youngest son's? Why did I call both Tyson, and now Max, by child #3's name? Worse, why do I call my child by the dog's name?
Why does this phenomenon only happen with my youngest child's name? Something to make you get in Rodin's "The Thinker" pose and say "Hmmm...."
I thought it bizarre, and I truly feel guilty each time it has happened to me over the years. This past Friday night after dinner and when everyone had gone to sleep, I walked Max, and saw a friend, a fellow dog owner. I asked her very cautiously, "Do you ever make the mistake of calling Jasper (a white Westie) by one of your kids' names, or call one of your kids by the dog's name?"
When I heard "I do it all the time -- and only with my youngest child," I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Guess I'm not the only freak out there!
Any dog owners out there willing to admit they've done, or do, the same?