I was thinking about names and thought...
You are born and your formal name is whispered to you by your cot-side, “Welcome Thomas!”
For the first couple of years of your life this is the name that you are known by. This is the name that is whispered reverently and the name that is celebrated by all of your family.
But as with all things, life changes and time moves on and you move onto new experiences at nursery and infant school and Thomas seems too formal so you are called Tommy by your friends and eventually by your family because you are so cute!
You have tousled hair and run around like a ricocheting bullet. Your teeth fall out and you steal the remote and you giggle like a maniac at the least little thing; and still sleep with your bottom stuck up in the air.
You are open to bribes to encourage good behaviour and you are fun to be with. However, at times your formal name still appears but is said in the staccato rhythm of annoyance, short and sharp or in the long drawn out of exasperation from your parents. It is always there to remind you of who you are.
And again, as with all things, life changes and moves on and you enter the junior time of your life and Tommy is just too babyish for your liking so you have a cool nickname of Tommo, which rhymes with ammo and you play Call of Duty and you are tough and hard. Your competitive side appears as you develop your strength and are aware of how your body works and moves.
You play football and rugby and delight in the sideline cheers of, “Come on Tommo!” And when your teacher calls you by your nickname you are made up because that is you deep inside.
But when you do something wrong formal Thomas is resurrected and you are reminded once again of who you really are.
And then one day you wake up and you are taller than your Mum and your shoulders seem wider than the doorway with a body too long for its bed, because as you well know, life changes and you move forward.
Your voice has a mind of its own with its ruff and gruff sounds; you snarl and growl around your world and you begin to push the boundaries and every now and then your Sunday Best name is uttered in desperation and frustration as you eat like there is no tomorrow and you raid the fridge and guzzle litres of milk and then when everything is all swirling and full of ifs and maybes, your name changes once again and you become Tom and it fits and feels just right.
He’s been waiting for a long time to surface but you are comfortable with him and Tom lasts you for a very long time even though in the background your real name is not forgotten as you fill in forms for weddings, mortgages and birth certificates. When you are in hospital waiting rooms at the doctors this name reappears constantly reminding you of where you came from and who you ultimately are.
And finally, when you are shrivelled and wrinkled and lying in a bed, your birth name is resurrected and it is whispered reverently by your bedside, “Goodbye Thomas!”
Thought for the day; Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language!