The winter holidays were over and we were at my sister’s, celebrating her birthday. Now, I really don’t like going to birthday parties because there’s always too many people there. People I harldy know or even worse, people I don’t know at all. Hate it. But hey, this is my little sister we’re talking about and I’m not letting her down. Not if I can help it.
It wasn’t too bad, actually. When we arrived one elderly lady I’d never seen before was just leaving. There was my sister’s mother in law. My brother in law and my nieces. Two woman I thought I’d never seen before, though I later found out I used to know one of them ages ago. Mum and Dad were there, and my older sister.
I entered the Circle of Hell and managed to only hug Mum, Dad, my sisters and nieces before finding myself a seat. No mumbling “gefeliciteerd” to every single person present. No handshakes or (heaven forbid!) air kisses with people I don’t even know.
Sis was busy provinding everyone with tea, my nieces served cake and I was safe. Relatively safe at least. Did I tell you I hate birthday parties?
The awkwardness around my name seemed to be a little less than last time, during our Chanukkah Party. Dad called me by my given name once or twice. Little sis messed up once and apologized almost immediately, so I was cool with that. Big sis called me Liam. My two younger nieces too, and only the older is still rather uncomfortable about the name change, which is quite understandable seeing she has an ASD.
Shortly before we left, the youngest of my nieces said, “Can I still call you Auntie [insert given name] from time to time, because sometimes it’s a bit hard to remember to call you Uncle Liam”. I thought that was really sweet of her, to confide in me and just ask. In answer I told her I understood how hard it was, but I’d really prefer for her to call me Uncle Liam, as not only does that feel better to me but also, the more she uses my new name, the sooner she’ll get used to it. You’ve just got to love that child.
But here’s the best. When we just got there and I said hi to Mum, she called me Liam. Actually, it was just a whisper in my ear, but it was there. And it was huge. I think I just sat there with a big, idiotic grin on my face for the next half hour – or maybe even longer – because of how happy it made me.
So here’s to you, Mum! You may never even read this, but all the same. You made my day!