So the story goes like this…My name is Katie, and for 18 years my children called me Mom. Pretty normal, right? Then one day my then 15 year old son comes to my bedroom doorway and says, “Hey Charlie, we’re out of milk. Can you pick some up?” “Who??? Who in the world is Charlie?!” Jackson just grinned from ear to ear. “It’s you. You’re Charlie.” I was annoyed. I’ve always been Mom, and I wasn’t keen on changing my name because some 15 year old was going through a phase! And I told him as much! That was dumb on my part. Never tell your son that his idea of a joke annoys you. For weeks after I was affectionately called Charlie, followed up by a little giggle and a devious grin.
Whatever, it’s only one kid. It’s not like all three kids are calling me Charlie. It’s fine. Yeah right! My phone rings. It’s my baby calling me from college. “Hi Paigie!” “Hey Charlie! What’s up?!” Oh. My. Gosh! “You too?!” She laughed. “Mom, it’s hilarious! Seriously, laugh a little.” Sigh…I keep telling myself the novelty will wear off. They can’t possibly think they are going to call me this forever! Can they?!
Fast forward a month or so…Yes, I’m still Charlie! *rolling my eyes* My husband and I take a road trip to go house hunting. I get a text from my sweet Paigie. (Remember, she is 18 and away at college. My life stops when she reaches out. I miss her desperately.) I hear her text tone, and I dash across the hotel room. Yeah, I’m a little dramatic. You’ll get used to it. But her text isn’t the normal “Hi. Just letting you know I’m alive”, or the ever so popular, “I miss you. Adulting is hard.” Nope. This one is different. “Hi Mom! Can you send me a picture of your ID? I want to show my friend how much our IDs look alike.” Now ya’ll, Paige is my mini me. People stop us in the street to tell us we look alike. But why in the world does she need my ID photo in order to prove we look alike? Hmmmm…I really don’t have time to ask questions. I need to move on to the important stuff like, “Are you eating anything besides Panda Express? And are you still coming home to see me in two weeks?” So I reluctantly text her a pic of my ID with my thumb covering all the pertinent information. Her response? “Ugh, your thumb is covering all your information!” What? What does my info have to do with how much our faces look alike. Something is fishy, and I intend to find out what it is!!!
While I’m trying to climb inside my daughter’s sneaky little brain, my phone rings. This time it’s Jackson. “Mom, I need you to promise you won’t get mad. At Paige…Ok, and me too.” “WHAT DID YOU DO?!” “Promise Mom, or we can’t have this conversation.” I’m 600 miles away from my two youngest children, and another 200 miles from my eldest. HOW have they managed to work in cohoots, across state lines, and create enough fuss to warrant an ID check, texts, and a phone call? And wait a minute…Jackson just called me Mom. Don’t panic. It doesn’t have to be bad just because he didn’t use that annoying nickname, Charlie. It’s all ok. Breathe!!!! I very calmly whisper into the phone, “What did you guys do?” “We might have changed your Facebook name to Charlie, and now we can’t unchange it. We didn’t know Facebook had rules about that stuff! I swear! Now please send us a proper photo of your ID. None of Paige’s friends care that you look alike, but your friends are going to be calling you Charlie forever if you don’t help us fix this.” SERIOUSLY???????????? Well folks, you CAN change your Facebook name, but not instantly. Oh no, that takes time. Enough time to lay your weary head on your pillow, and wake up the next morning to more FB notifications than you have ever had in your life! “Morning Chuck! How’s it going?” “Your kids are awesome Charlie. Totally hilarious.” “You always looked like a Charlie to me. I’m glad you’re embracing who you really are.” Oh yeah….I was laughing alright. Ha friggin ha!
It was weird though. Paige clung to that nickname like a fat kid clings to a brownie batter bowl. She loves it, and it began to grow on me. My friends now call me Charlie from time to time. And sadly Jackson has abandoned the name. “What’s the fun of calling you Charlie if you like it?” My kids never stop making me laugh. (Ok, I’m usually annoyed and a little shouty first.) So cheers to Charlie, shenanigans, and the craziness of raising silly kids!