Thursday, October 6, 2011

Accepting "Jacko"

While at Disneyland, it seemed that every boy aged five and under was named "Jack" or "Jackson." And when I say every, I mean literally 15 or 20 separate kids were being called by their parents to form a cacophony of "Jaaaaaaack! Jacksooooon! JackJacksonJackJackJackJacksoooooon!"

And I felt disheartened. My son was going to be called Jack F. for all of his school years, in order to differentiate him from the rest of the boys in the class named Jack. We chose his name based on several of my naming criteria, one of which was that it was a little off the beaten path. But Caleb and I were unwittingly trendy—horror of horrors!

My fears are assuaged a little bit by the fact that he is not actually called Jack—everyone, including himself, calls him "Jacko." Now, something you need to know about me is that I'm a nicknamer. My father dislikes this about me, because he says that the thing a person loves to hear the most is his own name; I can't help myself, though. My family and friends laugh at the constantly changing nicknames I call my children, and it was a worry for awhile that they wouldn't know what their actual names are. One of the nicknames for Jack evolved into "Jacko"; he seemed to like it and the name was catchy enough to spread. The best thing is when his cousins are learning to speak, and one of the only words they can say is Jacko. Not Jack or cousin, just Jacko.

If he grows up and detests "Jacko," I won't cry a river of tears. The name has stuck around so long based on his liking it, not me. But if he gets to school and the nickname still follows him, then I wouldn't mind him being a Jacko in a room full of Jacks. That is, as long as there isn't a "Jack O." That would really throw a wrench into things.

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