Thursday, February 2, 2012

Boy Without a Name

When I was five years old, my parents decided to get a divorce, and it was probably the last thing they ever agreed on. This made it a little difficult when my curious child mind began asking questions about previous events in my life that I couldn't remember. On a multiple occasions I have received completely different responses to events that happened in my life that have absolutely no connection other than the story supposedly being about me.I don't think my parents were trying to set me up for therapy, but it definitely led to many confused, sleepless nights for a 7 year old. 

I think most kids wonder at some point what their name would have been if they were the opposite gender. This was the same for me and I couldn't wait to hear the answer. I figured it would be something really badass like Cliff. My imagination painted a picture of all the adventures Cliff would go on. He would have done Karate and stayed with it past yellow belt. Cliff would be able to throw a football and make it spin like the real players. Cliff would have been a cool guy, I knew it.

Finally, I asked my mom one morning what I would be called if I had been a boy, and she told me something like, Devin... (I think that's the right name, but don't take my word for it). It certainly was no Cliff, and I think that she probably would have regretted not naming me Cliff very shortly in my life, but Devin was an okay name, and I moved on from the subject. Months later, the conversation came up with my dad who told me a completely different name... let's say Alexander (I really think that one is wrong... I probably would have been a major douche if my name was Alexander). I tried correcting my dad on his error, but he said, "No, there is no error. It was Jewel or Alexander." With this new information I decided that obviously Mom was wrong and needed to be corrected. Turns out I was wrong again which just caused a miserable headache and a thousand more questions. I tend to think very logically, I have just learned to not always voice my logic, because outside of my head it really isn't always that logical. For example, I have battled with the thought of a parallel universe where I was born a boy without a name because my Parallel Parents couldn't decide if I was an Alexander or a Devin.

I seem to graze across memories like this a lot. My entire life I have had a small scar next to my right nostril. When I noticed it around age 8 or 9, I decided to ask my parents where it came from because I certainly didn't remember hitting my face on something and having it leave a scar. When I brought the subject up with my Dad, he informed me that I got the scar when I was about 11 months old and was learning how to walk. Before I could actually stand on my own, I would use the coffee table to hold myself up. Instead of my hope that our family friends brought their Lynx to our house and it picked a fight with me so I obviously beat the shit out of it, attaining one minor cut on my face and being named the family hero, I was told that I hit my face on the table. I again was disappointed, but satisfied with the story and accepted it to be the truth, until the scar came up with Mom. The second I said something about a coffee table and my face, she immediately corrected me by telling me a story of me learning how to walk (this is the one thing, other than my face making contact with something sharp, that both of my parents' stories have in common) while at daycare and falling on a Toss Across. Yet again, my small brain was trying to make sense of if Alexander hit his face on the coffee table or Devin fell on the Toss Across.

I have at some point in my life been mad at my parents, hated them, thought they were lame, thought they were cool, and missed them when I was at sleep away camp. It's now though, after going through a large speed bump in my life, that I really appreciate all that my parents do and have done for me in the past, even if their stories don't always match up and they don't know how to use "The Netflix". I am so completely grateful to have the parents I have and that wouldn't change if I was Alexander, Devin or even Cliff. 

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