To ask someone in Spanish what their name is, you might say, Literally this translate into English as “How are you called?” This used to strike me as a little awkward, until I realized it makes perfect sense. What we are called depends on who is referring to us, and what they want to know about us.
My given name is Susan, the only name I was called by for years. When I got married, I changed my surname to my husband’s. Over the course of my adult life I have been addressed as Miss, Ms. or Mrs. - but still mostly just Susan. Teachers used to refer to me as “a student of theirs.” My parents speak of “their daughters.” Patients have introduced me to their family as “my nurse.”
When my children were born I assumed the identity of Mommy, later to become Mom. Somewhere around the time my kids were in pre-school or elementary school, my identity seemed to blur a bit, and I became “E’s mom” or “G’s mom.” I have often introduced myself this way.
Parents of children involved in sports assume yet another identity. Many parents proudly display this name, on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt. We are often identified by the sport in which our child participates.
|This t-shirt even defines the characteristics of a “swim mom”!|
My children have been involved in many extracurricular activities, but “Swim Mom” and “Soccer Mom” have been my primary titles for years. It is my daughter who swims, and my son who plays soccer - those athletic efforts are all their own, not mine. Yet a “sports mom” (or “sports dad”) title is not acquired easily - it has to be earned. This can be done in a variety of ways. My own experience has included the following:
- Day-after-day, year-after-year of driving kids to-and-from practice and competitions (often hours before the sunrise).
- Volunteering on committees and Boards to ensure that quality athletic opportunities are available for our kids.
- Providing an abundance of snacks and team dinners.
- Washing filthy uniforms and mountains of swim towels.
- Sitting on hard bleachers in hot, humid natatoriums during LONG swim meets to watch my daughter swim just a few races.
- Becoming drenched, cold and windblown on soccer fields while cheering on my son and his team.
|It takes a degree of stamina to be a Soccer Mom or Dad in Montana in May!|
If you think about it, I'm guessing you will come up with a list - not just a single name.