That Time I Forgot My Son's Name
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me "How do you do it all?" I would be a wealthy woman. (Or at least, I'd be able to pay off my student loans.) When I got that question in the past, I used to silently blush, receive it as a compliment and say "Awww well, thank you." Shame on me. Now, I know better. Now, I abruptly laugh and admit, "I don't."
You see, behind every beautiful family photo is a ridiculously human story that connects us all to the realities of motherhood. What is my ridiculously human story, you ask? Well, I will tell you.
My son has a very unique name. We're not some hipster granola wanna-be-Hollywood couple. In fact, my husband and I are fairly traditional and in some regards, old-fashioned to today's standards. I'm more of a Charlotte from Sex in the City. I like classic, simple fashion. If it were up to me, all of my furniture would be white, beige, or gray with the occasional black. I wish Army wives still wore gloves and big hats to the Officer's Club. I favor pen and paper over digital and real stationery over evites.
Yet, the first baby name that my husband and I could ever decide on was Ryker.
No, it's not a family name. No, it doesn't have some grave symbolic meaning. No, none of our other children have names that start with "R." We just like the name Ryker. For anyone who has tried naming a kid with someone, you know it's next to the most stressful decision you will ever make together. (Apart from choosing between barn door red and burnt red for the color of your kitchen.)
In some respects, I actually wish we had attachment to some special name. I wish my husband was a junior and we were mandated to carry on the family name. Anything so that I wouldn't be cursed with the pressure to decide my child's handwriting fate.
As it stands, we settled on the name, Ryker. When we found out we were having a girl, though, we had to table the name. I thought maybe after a few years, when I was finally pregnant with a boy, we would move on to more traditional names. But we never could decide on a boy's name. Ryker it was! We gave him the middle name Jacob to honor my husband's West Point roommate who was killed in action in Iraq,
So there we were, we were riding in the car- me, my husband, my daughter Kate, and baby Ryker. We were driving to see family for the holidays. Somehow, we got on the conversation of names and Ryker came up. We were talking about common names.
My husband says, "Well, at least we gave Ryker a common middle name, David."
"No, it's Nathan." I responded. In my defense, Nathan is my husband's middle name. At least I got that one right.
A few moments passed before we looked at each other and started laughing.
"Wait, what IS his middle name?" I blanked. Seriously, blanked. I forgot my son's name! Legitimately, no names came to my mind. I could not tell you his name to save my life.
"It's JACOB! Duh!" My husband came through.
"Oh my gosh, we forgot our son's NAME! How horrible are we?!"
And in his typical keeping-it-real style, my husband just shrugs, "Eh, it happens."
That, my friends, is life. We are not, cannot, and will never be the flawless reel we project on Instagram. We are real. We make mistakes. And sometimes, just sometimes, we forget our kids' names.