Did you have a nickname as a kid? I’m sure you did, like it or not. I had a couple myself.
I was going through old pictures a few weeks ago on my Dad’s birthday and it got me to thinking about one of my nicknames. It came to me while reminiscing on “the good ol’ days” working on the farm. When I was much younger, I didn’t get to see my Dad much, and when I did, most of the time it was tending to something on the farm. Whether that was driving out to a field and checking on crops, sitting along-side my Dad as he plowed a field, or a trip down to the local grain elevator to basically shoot the shit (at least that’s what it seemed like to me). Regardless of what it was, I always looked forward to these days. Running around doing manly stuff with this guy I looked up to but didn’t get to see all that often. Hell, I remember days when I’d be at my aunts house playing outside. Her house happened to be on a road between one of the barns my Dad kept equipment and a few of the fields he leased. I’d be outside playing or whatever and I’d hear a tractor coming and I’d run to the side of the road to see if it was my Dad or one of the guys going to one of his fields. If it was, I’d flag them down in hopes to go along. And as a matter of fact, I did a couple times. It’s no wonder that to this day, even after losing an arm on that farm, I still look back on it with such fondness. I actually miss the shit out of farming… the smells, the hard work, the sweat, that feeling of accomplishment after a long ass day of working sun up to sun down. My Dad and Grandpa both told me growing up, farming is in your blood, and you don’t get it out. I agree, I still feel as though I bleed John Deere green to this day.
Wait, wasn’t this post something about a nickname? Yes, yes it was. So first I’ll share, even though this may come back to bite me in the ass, my first and most widely used nickname. With such a common name, Mike, and there were a couple who came before me in my family including my Dad. As a result, I wasn’t called Mike as much as I begged to be. I was known as… I hated this by the way… Mickey. I admit, looking back now it’s not so terrible. But as a small, young kid covered in freckles with red, red hair who didn’t already get teased enough, Mickey sucked.
My other nickname on the other hand, I loved and eagerly awaited hearing. Every time it was used I felt cooler for some reason. It was also much better because it was bestowed on me by my Dad while working on the farm. Add to that the fact that he was the only person who called me this nickname made it even more special. That’s why looking back at those old pictures of me and my Dad on the farm brought back the nickname along with a lump in my throat. Those days spent with my Dad on the farm are a big part of the man I am today. I wish I could hear him say it once more… “Miguel”
I hope me sharing this piece of my life makes you recall a similar memory in your life. Remember those in your life who have made some sort of positive impact on your life. Give them a call, stop by their house, text them, but somehow let them know you appreciate the impact they had on your life. We are all who we are, not just because of those big moments in our lives, but also those that may seem very minor. Like a nickname shared between a Dad and his son.