Monday, June 30, 2008

If you don't like my kid's name, shouldn't you still mind your manners?

This happened at a kid's party not too long ago. Most of the party was outside, with lots of pool play, but when it started to rain, the kids moved inside. At one point, I went in to check on Chakisae. I found her with lots of other kids and two moms. I did not know these two women.

The moms were trying to figure Chakisae's name. Which granted is unusual, and she often complicates things by telling anyone who asks her full name -- all four names, that is.

Anyway, just as I walked in, they were asking her name again.

Mom #1 said: You'll probably be 12 before I could pronounce that.

I said: It's cha-key-say. We say key-say a lot.

Mom#2 said: I was going to say Chaquita or ...(laughed).

Just at that moment, there was a call for cake or presents so everyone got up and the conversation ended as the kids headed outside. But I spent the rest of the party with the incident sort of nagging at me.

I think those women were rude, most especially to Kisae.

But I think the thing that bothered me (though perhaps this is silly) is that they both have kids who are adopted. I thought they might be more sensitive or get it (for what it's worth, their daughters are from China and all have western names). But no.

I'm sorry. If you don't like my kid's name, shouldn't you just do what mom used to say, you know, not say anything, if you can't think of anything nice to say?

I do get a fair number of questions about her name, and that's fine. I usually explain that it is her Ethiopian name (not something I made up, though, hey people can make up names, if they want!) and was chosen by her great-grandmother.

With these women, I just wanted to shout: "Hey, her name means 'light' and it was chosen by her blind great-grandmother. I met her. She told me she thought this baby would 'be her light and shine' and that she knew that 'wherever she went God's light would shine on her.' You try changing the name after that. Just try it."

But really, why should I have to do all that. It's a beautiful name. It's her name. I love it. Maybe I'm just a too sensitive?

3 comments:

Spark said...

We have the name issues too. Our pediatricians office refuses to call her from the waiting room by her first name. When I take Grace, they call "Grace". When I take Asrat, they call our our last name! Don't you think they'd just write down the phonetic pronunciation on her chart???
I'm going to have a real issue when she starts school if her teachers don't take the time to learn to pronounce it correctly - it's "ahhs-rot", not "oz-rot".

Tarah said...

I LOVE her name. Tezeta is easy to me, but we still get comments. I agree, you have a special person name your baby, you don't change it. :)

Tarah said...

I LOVE her name. Tezeta is easy to me, but we still get comments. I agree, you have a special person name your baby, you don't change it. :)