One of the best gifts Husband ever gave me was a five year journal. I began writing in the plain black journal the first of January 2010 so it is nearing the end of its days. The most interesting aspect of the journal is how it clarifies my thoughts. Each day of the preceding five years is stacked on top of each other such that I can look back and in a quick scan see all of my thoughts for that particular day of the year for the past five years. I only write a few sentences each day but in those glimpses I can see patterns emerge; one of those patterns being that many of the August entires are blank. When I look back at my old blog and this one I see the same; I tend not to write in August. The reasons for my writer’s block are many: the August heat tends to sap me of my energy for much of anything, this time of year follows my birthday and I tend to turn inward full of existential thoughts, and this year I have realized something else. I don’t like to write about my life in the abstract. When I call my husband “Husband” my feelings for him seem distant and removed; my thoughts about him slip though my mind unable to be captured. Calling my beloved children Older, Middle, and Baby just doesn’t encourage my fingers to fly across the keyboard nor is it really accurate now that Baby wears underwear, rides roller coasters at amusement parks, and counts to twenty. Of course, I picked such boring pseudonyms for a reason. I don’t want my thoughts about Middle to be associated with her names (past or present); her privacy and safety are of the utmost importance.
But I long to give my family proper names and so I shall. These names bear no real resemblance to their actual names. They are just names I like and seem to fit their personalities. I asked Husband what he would like to be known as and he chose Matthew. Older shall be known as Max. I will call Middle Victoria. I will also refer to Middle’s former, “boy” name as William. And Baby shall be known Caroline. There: Emily, Matthew, Max, Victoria, and Caroline. Doesn’t that sound like a nice little family?