We have nicknames for the kids. Sebastian is Halloween Boy. Sawyer is Roller Coaster Girl. They both know the nicknames and will occasionally use them when they are referencing themselves.
Sebastian got his nickname early on. Geoff gave it to him. Sebastian's favourite movie for a lot of years was "The Nightmare Before Christmas". He loves Halloween, skeletons, pumpkins and bats. He has started growing out of it a bit, but the underlying interest is still there.
I remember taking him to see "The Corpse Bride" at the movies when he was younger, probably about 6 years old. He was terrified of the parents in the beginning of the movie. He almost cried and would pull my hand up over his eyes whenever they came on screen. However, when the skeletons appeared, singing and dancing, he would laugh and clap his hands. He loved it.
I remember as a little boy, I would draw picture after picture of cartoon skulls, jack-o-lanterns and bats. I can still draw them...I had a lot of practice.
For Sebastian's 2nd Christmas, Geoff bought him "Where the Wild Things are". I swear, I read that story every night. I used to be able to recite the story off by heart.
"We'll eat you up, we love you so."
I have his nickname tattooed on my left arm. It's the same arm that has Sebastian's name tattooed on it. It may sound silly, but Sebastian learned to spell his name from that tattoo. I remember sitting in my bed, with small 'Bastian on my lap. Slowly, over and over and over, we would point to each letter and spell it out. Over and over. Again and again. Every once in a while, he will still point out the letters, and spell his name. Afterwards, he hugs me, and smiles. He remembers our time and it's a good memory.
My Halloween Boy, he watches the Great Pumpkin all through the summer. He wears his Mr. Incredible costume, even though it is getting too small. He knows who Lock, Shock and Barrel are. He was born with his bat or elf ear.
I nicknamed Sawyer. Unlike Sebastian, Sawyer always loved to "fly", even when she was a tiny baby. We would swoop her around and over and as she got older, we would flip her upside down. She loved it. She would laugh those great big belly laughs. The more we did it, the harder she laughed. She still does, to this day.
She loves to swing. I will push her on the swing, as hard as I can and the whole time, she is yelling "Higher! Higher!" She will lean so far back, her hair will touch the ground. She looks at me upside down as she swings up towards me, the huge grin on her face just lighting her up.
She is my daredevil. She is the one that will jump off, climb up, ride on, try it out...
You name it, she will do it. And she will do it with a smile on her face and a laugh in her heart. She is the essence of childhood. She is summer time and and bubbles and fireworks all wrapped up in a red-headed package.
I have her nickname tattooed on my right arm, along with her name. She asks me about it sometimes. We have started to learn to spell, with her cuddled on my lap, and each of us pointing out the letters.
Tonight, when I was tucking her into bed, I sang our song to her. "Momma, sing Hush Little Baby to me." So I do.
And when I finish, she takes her little finger, and starts to trace the letters outlined on my shoulder. She yawns hugely, and with shiny eyes, she looks at me.
"I'm your Roller Coaster Girl, right momma?" I nodded and said she was.
She rolled over and snuggled her doll. With sleepy sighs, she said "I'm so glad you are my momma. I like being your girl".
Love you Halloween Boy. Love you, Roller Coaster Girl.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nicknames".