His name is not Jr.
“He is not a Jr.” I said to the woman at the customer service desk while looking at my phone. Everything around me went silent, I looked up from my phone, to notice, all three of my kings looking at me with the come-on mom stare. I was confused as we walked away from the counter. “Gosh mom,” Hezekiah said. Big snapped, “His names not Jr.” They began to laugh at me, I sunk into my seat, feeling horrible. I asked, “wait, was it that bad.” Big laughed as he exclaimed, “maybe it’s time to take mommy home.” I got silent as a began to ponder about how I responded and why it bothered me when people called Little, Jr.
First, I am not going to make any excuses for my bad behavior. It was completely unacceptable to snap at the sales clerk. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, and she doesn’t know that, when people call my son Jr. it gets under my skin. It happens often, I mean from people we know to people we don’t know. It has happened at the doctor’s office, sports registrations, and airline tickets, always make me jump through hoops. People consistently want to add Jr. on the end of Little’s name to differentiate between Big and Little.
However, he is not a Jr. and there are so many other ways to distinguish them from birth dates, to their middle initial. As you all know, we call him Little in my blog and in conversation, He often goes by Soly or Solo. If you can remember in an earlier post, I wrote about Hezekiah and how his friends and teachers call him Heze, which I can’t stand. You would have also learned how important names are to me. I think it bothers me when people don’t take the time to really understand the intentionality of knowing someone’s name.
Big, was very intentional with our king’s name as he thought about every detail down to their initials. Hezekiah is Hezekiah Elijah Wyatt, HEW meaning to cut down for the next, and Solomon Ezekiel Wyatt initials being SEW meaning to join, fasten, or repair. These names are important as they work together in brotherhood. Being able to grow, prepare, and serve as a unit has been instilled in them from a young age. I understand that people do not know the background or reasons why these names were selected.
However, as an educator, I thought of all the students who come to school and are called other names based on people not wanting to take the time to learn their given name. I am challenging myself to not only learn the names of every student I serve. But, I am also going to learn how to pronounce them correctly. This was a sobering thought for me. So I also challenge you, anytime you go out to dinner or other spaces, learn the names of the people serving you because, they matter, and this shows them that you see them.