Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Name Game

So...I always wondered when it would happen.  Well, I wondered "if" it would happen, but I sort of always figured it would be a matter of "when".  Jacob wants to be called Jake. 

Over the years people have called him Jake now and then.  Of course, in daycare he was called "Rybi" for a while, because there were two Jacobs in his class and he had the last name more ripe for a nickname, I guess.  He never loved the nickname, or so he says, but he dealt with it.  Since he started school he's been the only Jacob at daycare when he's gone back there, so the nickname got dropped and he was Jacob or Jake, depending on the teacher.  But here and there throughout his life, Jake has popped up once in a while.  Teachers, grandparents, friends...and more often than not it made me cringe a bit.  Not sure why, but he's always been Jacob to me.  At home he's always been Jacob, and officially at school, he's always been Jacob. 

But now....Jake is slowly but surely seeping in.  He signs his school papers like that, his teacher calls him that, and he named his Wii Mii character that.  He likes it better now for some reason.  But I just can't call him that. 

Since the day he was born, to us he's been Jacob.  It was mostly a conscious decision to keep him as Jacob and not start calling him Jake as a baby.  I don't think we had a real reason, at least not outside of wanting to avoid "Jake the Snake" references, but we just stuck with the formal version and left it at that.  He just always seemed to be more of a Jacob to me than a Jake.  Like I said, I figured that at some point (high school, at worst) he'd end up as a Jake, but I guess I never knew how it would happen.  But now it is.  And I'm still resistant. 

He was born my little Jacob, and he's always been my Jacob.  To call him a new name after six years just doesn't jive in my brain.  I hope he doesn't take it personally now that he prefers Jake, but I just don't see it happening...at least not anytime soon.  I'll leave that to other people for now. 

I guess this is just one of those steps of getting older.  Before I know it he's going to be seven, going on to second grade, and then on to a whole new school.  Then it's going to be a few quick years until middle school, then high school, and then who knows what.  He's getting older and some days I don't know what to do with that.  This is just one of those things that's going to shape who he is for years to come.  We need to get used to him expressing himself in ways like this, I suppose.  Probably the least of our worries...but I guess it's a good warm-up.

Still, to me he's just Jacob.  Always has been, probably always will be.  We've got a lot of years ahead, God willing, so I suppose anything is possible, but he's my first baby...and for whatever reason it's a lot harder to divert from "the plan" with your first one.  The plan was Jacob.  And for now, I'm sticking with it.

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