01 June 2010

Whats in a name?

I go by many different names. I’m Mrs. Beeman. I’m Gigi, Jennifer, Jenni, Jenn, Sloan, Sloaner, Miss Sloan, ferley (jennifer leigh makes for ferley) and kissyfer - (thanks mom i wonder if that's why everyone i know has a special nickname from me).... I don’t mind my names. I love being gigi. I'll always be Sloan to many. The others i'll got used to. My family calls me Jennifer or Gigi. That's it. Hardly ever jenn, never jenni. My husband calls me Jenni or jennifer or sweetheart. I don't like being sweetheart. Though I do like eating a sweet-tart. I like being called Jenni, but its something that if you don't know me, you can call me Jennifer until i decide what to allow you to call me or unless I introduce myself to you as jenni, I am Jennifer to you. So get used to it. Gigi started like this. I was a kid, i could say some sentences ( i started with sentences not words, my first sentence was: I want some - go ask my mom), and people would ask me my name. When you're a toddler, Jennifer is a mouthful. And somehow it came out Gigi. Everyone called me gigi. My parents, my cousins, etc... I remember the day, I was probably 5 but could've been younger,  one of my cousins called me Gigi. I looked at him matter of factly and said MY NAME IS JENNIFER. And so the name gigi died, or did it? When i started babysitting the Dugas' family, and Hanna was a toddler, she couldn't say Jennifer, and what came out of her mouth? Gigi of course. She's 14 and they still all call me that. I love it! LOVE IT! My nephews call me gigi. i'll always be gigi to my family. I think its more permanent now. Carter knows my name is jennifer, he's 3, he can totally say it now, but to him, I'm gigi. I think i always will be. Its the same thing as him knowing his moms name is LORI. He knows that but he's still going to call her MOM. and yes, he says mom and not mommy. He's quite grown up like that.

I had a great weekend. I didn’t do too much except travel and spend time with “family”. By family I mean the sweet family I babysat for the past 15 years. Not to say I’m still the baby sitter, I doubt they need one any longer. But because I spent so much time with them, they became like family to me. I loved spending time with them. So much. They are now 18 (almost), 16, 14 and 1l. Their mother and I are quite close, and now the the kids are older, they relate to me in the way that I related to her when I was their age. I was surprised at how much they opened up to me about life, but when I think about it, I was like a second mother to them at times, but mostly I would say a really cool Aunt. You can’t tell mom everything, but the aunt, you can tell a lot to. I've been in their life a long time so i'm comfortable to them. When I was in my late teens or early 20s, all four of them went to bed together and slept in the Eldest’s bed, and I remember tucking them in and them asking me, Gigi, when are you going to have kids. I told them, I guess after I get married, and they replied, “We’ll be your kids till then.” It really touched my heart and still does. Beck, the 16 year old still remembers that. All four of them will never forget the time I burnt popcorn in their house. It stunk for the longest time. The 11 year old loves riding in the Scion better than her mother’s X5.  (I’ll gladly trade any time). They still call me Gigi and I’m totally fine with that because that’s how my family knows me.

Sunday night felt quite familiar. All four kids were home alone with me. We sat around the kitchen and talked and laughed. The only difference is that they don’t need me anymore. Kaki, the 11 year old let me know that I’d be a great mother. I’ve had tons of practice and I’m probably the coolest person on the planet. Just kidding (sort of)  Hanna tried to come home with me, but she’d have been bored while I was at work all day. She’s 14 and there aren’t too many her age in my neighborhood (that I know of). Plus she’s gotta kick butt on swimteam this summer. They would love for me to live in town and drive them around all the time. We totally could’ve done so much more but we really enjoyed just sitting around doing not much of anything which was super great. We watched this really cute movie together called Valentine’s Day. The movie actually quoted me twice which was sort of funny. I’m serious, I’d never seen the movie and there were two parts where they said things that I had said the previous day. Eerie I know, but I am quite the trendsetter. Don’t worry, I’ll get paid for it eventually, and then famously tracked down for more funny lines. Its nice that I will always find a home with them and can visit any time. Its also nice that they love Ellie and Marley and will be willing to house them while I transition to the Middle East and get settled with my wonderful man.

I just returned home from the vet. Marley has two tumor like growths on her leg and we have to remove them. They both have lost weight thanks to my many walks. We're now at 48 and 39 pounds. I spoke to the vet about the transition to the middle east. I am going first to prepare a home and they will follow shortly after. The vet stated that to separate the girls would be traumatic and since they've been together so long they'll probably die within a few months of each other, the second one of a broken heart (wow that's tough). She also said that the flight isn't that bad and they are so attached to me that it it will be the best option for everyone! YAY! I'm so glad i finally did that. i was so worried about it all, but they really are my babies and i can't imagine not ever seeing them again. Marley got her rabies shot and they both got their other shots and checkups. Dollar signs should be rolling by now as i say this. Poor mom, doggies are expensive. At least if it was my baby, my health insurance would cover all of it. 100%. But not them. Its ok. They are totally worth it...

After two days with family number one, I went to visit my other family in town. Richard and Jodi. Dick is my brother from another mother as we like to say. He’s a little brother to me despite the fact he's three years older.  He’ll always be my little brother. His family is a family to me, I’m the long lost child they never had. He and his wife have 2 kids, age 11 and 6. Kayla, the 11 year old was outside with about 5 guys hanging around (she’s quite pretty and I think they all know it). I went out to talk to them for a bit, I’m aunt Sloan to the kids, since the family all call me Sloan. Kayla ran in later and said, Aunt Sloan,  all the boys were saying they wish they had an aunt like you because you’re so cool and funny and energetic. Score one for Sloan and one for the little people!

I mean I’m not hearing anything I didn’t already know. I know that I’m super fun and energetic. I’m not even 30, so I had better be. But seriously, I think if I were an unlikable person, I wouldn’t have so many friendships that have lasted for the past 20 or more years of my life. I have friends from as early as birth that I still keep in touch with. Rarely do I lose a friend. I’m pretty loyal like that. Once we’re friends we are friends for life.  There are exceptions, such as ex boyfriends, I see little reason to keep in touch with some of them. There are the girls that back stab but I have mostly picked good quality friends.  I decided, starting in high school to only be friends with the people that wanted to be my friend, meaning I wasn’t going to kiss your butt in order to get you to like me. You either do or you don’t. I’m pretty true to that even now.  I don’t need to buy your friendship, or win it. If I lose it, it was never really mine to have. I had one friend in grad school that quit hanging out with me purely based upon the merit that I received more attention than her when we went out together. Mutual friends told me this since she suddenly stopped speaking to me.. I'm not sure how that was my fault, but it hurt my feelings for about a minute then i moved on, clearly we weren't "real" friends. Who knew jealousy would cause someone to dislike you so much?? I am sure i'll face this one again before life is over if i'm not already. But to all the haters out there. To all the jealous people i'll have to say, I didn't choose to be this way, i just am, so go suck a duck and get over yourself. Envy of others only makes YOU look bad in the end. There are many fake people in this world so you have to be careful, but I think maintaining lifelong friendships is a great indicator of your character. And kids everywhere really like me. (To steal the words of Lloyd Christmas) They like me a lot. And I like them too. 

I’m only saying all of this because I was reminded of it this weekend. Not that I have ever forgotten, but when a bunch of 12 year old boys decided I was really cool. Or when my 11 and 14 yr old friends laugh at all my silliness. Or when Beck, my 16 yr old baby boy opens up to me about high school and the summation of his sophomore year and tells me things I doubt he tells mom. (don't worry mom, he's a good kid).. It felt nice. Because they love me, they trust me, and they follow my example. I guess I better keep my act clean and make sure mine is an example worth following. Do as I say, not as I did.  Ive made enough mistakes for everyone.

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