Saturday, May 10, 2014

How Are You Called?

¿Cómo te llamas?  How are you called?

To ask someone in Spanish what their name is, you might say, ¿Cómo te llamas?  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.  
I have done all this - and loved every minute of it (sometimes even while I’ve hated being cold or uncomfortable!)  I’ve done it all willingly, because it is what makes my children happy.  This is how my husband and I, and countless other parents have earned the right to a “Sports Parent” title.

It takes a degree of stamina to be a Soccer Mom or Dad in Montana in May!

¿Cómo te llamas?  How are you called? 
If you think about it, I'm guessing you will come up with a list - not just a single name. 


  1. We do take on so many roles, and so many names, during our lifetime. I have enjoyed being a "sports mom". Both of my sons swim, and I've spent so many hours out in the cold at soccer games, golf matches and track/cross country meets. With Mother's Day tomorrow, I guess we can add "daughter".

  2. Your son's both swim Lana? I wonder if we have ever been to a swim meet at Federal Way at the same time?! :)

  3. From a soon-to-be football mom, thanks for the encouragement! It won't be Montana weather here, but it will be fun and exciting, even if we are hot and muggy! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Have fun! Hot and muggy sounds pretty good after the weather I experienced this past weekend during 2 soccer games :)

  4. I'm visiting you from Lana's blog. I have kids and they've played lots of sports. I love watching their games and talking with the other moms. I'll definitely miss it when I'm not a sports mom someday!

    1. Hi Marie
      I just spent half an hour reading some of your blog posts and I am now following it! I am so happy to have found it!


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