A Merm By Any Other Name

I call my mom “Merm” and we can probably all agree that’s a little weird. You don’t hear a lot of “Merm” out on the playground. But I have my reasons.

Growing up, we had family friends with a boy my brother’s age and a boy my age. Our parents are #bff, so the kids – Tom, Will, Jim, and I –  spent a lot of time together. Now of course girls can do anything boys can do, and girl power, and equality, and all of that. But still, I was short a Y chromosome and the standard issue early 90’s bowl cut – I was the odd girl out. 8 year old Jim probably would have preferred that I was an 8 year old Bill instead of a Becca, but he was a super good sport about it. And it was the boys’ spirit of inclusion that lead to “Rebequa” and eventually “Merm” – stick with me here.

Jim and I were in the same third grade class and our big project that year was to write and illustrate a book. My hardcover copy of “Lost in the Bamboo Forest” was a thrilling tale of three baby pandas getting lost in China

bamboo.jpg

#bestseller

Jim wrote his about Tom and Will going on a fishing trip because he was a normal child who didn’t have an odd obsession with fictionalized Chinese culture. I think Jim was also in the story helping them fish or something along those lines. And being a good kid, he included me in the story too, as “Rebequa.”

Now his mom thought this was adorable and asked if Rebequa was a Native American girl welcoming the fishermen into the village to teach them how to navigate the rivers.

Pocahantas.jpg

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Or wondered what blue corn moon means? Did you know that blue corn moon has no meaning in Native American folklore? I do because I just Googled it. I do because I just Googled it.

That would have been nice. But no, Rebequa wasn’t even a human. Rebequa was a 10 pound bass. Fast forward to the end of the book and Rebequa was a 10 pound bass that was caught and cooked for dinner. But still, I was included!(?)

In any case, the nickname “Rebequa The 10 Pound Bass” stuck for a while. Eventually 10 Pound Bass was dropped, which was good for my adolescent self-esteem because dude, that is a seriously big fish. Then it was shortened to Bequa. Then Beqa, which was better spelled Beeka. Then Beek. And then somehow Berk.

Fish

Not a 10 pound bass. Not even half a 10 pound bass. Probably not actually a bass.

My name had gotten so mangled beyond recognition that I decided someone else in my family needed to have a weird name with misplaced Rs too. So Mom, if you were going to call me Berk, then I would call you “Merm.” Not open to discussion.

20+ years later, Merm’s new moniker has stood the test of time. And she is affectionately Merm to many good friends and casual acquaintances. We even tried to make “Grandmerm” happen for a while when Jack was born but he decided her name was “Mamoo.” The cycle of creative naming continues, and I’m totally on board.

With many thanks to Jim, apologies to China, and love to Merm,

Becca

P.S. I love you, Merm. Thank you for being kind, hilarious, generous you. You’re the best. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom

74470_721669636117_3746495_n.jpg

Mother's Day

6 thoughts on “A Merm By Any Other Name

  1. Happy Mother’s Day Becca !
    I love your blog !
    Jack and Norah are lucky to have such a beautiful, loving, talented mama.
    Have a wonderful day!

    Like

  2. Your Merm looks like fun. Autocorrect thinks it should be mermaid. Maybe your mom is a fish in the water.

    Like

  3. This is the best! I never had any other names growing up (aside from being called by my last name – #jocklife), but my mom wanted to be ‘Grammy’ when my oldest was born. But she now goes by NeMe to my oldest and MeMe to my middle and the youngest can’t talk yet, so we shall see. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: There’s a Holiday for That | With love and a little self-deprecation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s