Small children love to be identified, “you’re a carpenter, you fixed my chair!” or “those are good brownies, you’re our little cook.”

Just today my son re-adjusted a faulty toy and announced to his Mama Pearl that he is a mechanic cause he fixes stuff.

Some parents are better at bestowing loving identities on their children than others, but all of us have given our children identities that shape them. What do you remember being called as a child?

My Mom called me a good writer. I’m still wearing that particular name-tag with all the joy my eight-year-old-self felt when she first called me that. She also told me I would be a good wife and mama. Not only were those identities given with grand honor, they were accompanied with the tools to help them come true. Practical skills came hand in hand with the glorious titles we sought to earn.

One of my children’s favorite ways of being “identified” by mama is with their own personal songs. When each child is born, I make up a song that is theirs alone.

“Oh, there was a little boy, and his name was Joe; Joseph – Joseph Courage!
He was strong as a lion, and brave as a bear; Joseph – Joseph Courage!”

Just hearing his song makes Joe Courage square his skinny shoulders and stomp around the house with his tough-man face on. Then Rysha climbs in my lap, snuggles her head right beneath my chin, and starts humming to let me know that she wants to hear her song too.

“Ryshoni Joy, joy, my joy; Ryshoni Joy, you’re beautiful…
Just like a song, song, glad song; just like a song, you’re beautiful…
Just like a flower, flower, bright flower; just like flower you’re beautiful!”

Then, as if I had just accomplished an award -inning performance, Joe and Rysha both pat me lovingly while three-year-old Joe announces, “Mom… you’re… you’re a good woman!”

Rebekah Joy Anast