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How We Name Them

My children have a at least eighteen nicknames each. Some of them rhyme. Most of them are ridiculous. Each of them a way to say “I love you so much I could burst”

Something about a shortened name, so you can call them more quickly, so they can toddle to you faster, so that you can scoop them up a syllable sooner, and hug them just a little bit longer.

Elizabeth becomes Lizzie, Joseph becomes Joey, and Katherine becomes Kate.

You were born Vivian, and I hear you now being called “Vivi”.

To your parents, your nickname is a love song, intimate and sweet.

Vivi, her precious baby.

She wipes your tears, feeds you, and rocks you tenderly to sleep.

Vivi, Daddy’s girl.

He kisses your nose and tickles your belly, again today, like every day. He calls your name in a silly voice, and repeats it over and over- rhyming it with everything happy that crosses his thoughts.

Full names are for the formality of offices: doctors, dentists, and principals. Nicknames are for the quiet moments in the rocking chair when the sunlight, and your mother, kiss your forehead.

Long eloquent poems by sophisticated Victorian poets attempt to explain how deeply one can feel love, but “Vivi” explains all of that love in two tiny syllables pronounced with a smile.

They love you so much, your nickname may eventually become just “V”

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5 replies »

  1. Once again you did a beautiful job capturing this family. As one of Viv’s grannys I love how you get shots that fit them perfectly. Your intro had me in tears because it was so true. We are all in love with this little girl.

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