Maybe it's because I'm not yet a father. Maybe I'm subconsciously lamenting the fact that I'm not yet a father, and a part of me simply doesn't care (as harsh as that sounds). But I am terrible at remembering the names of other people's kids.
Granted, I don't have much reason to know most of these kids' names (unless they have been or currently desire to be in one of the dramas at church), but it is rather embarrassing when I repeatedly have to ask one of my closest friends in the world – who has two young boys – "Now which one is he again?"
Don't get me wrong. I like kids a lot. I'd love to have some of my own, but – for reasons I won't go into in detail right now – it hasn't been possible as yet.
However, I still feel as though I should be more aware, or perhaps care more about the progeny of my acquaintances, friends, and family.
Yes, I said family. I have several first cousins to whom I was quite close growing up, and now they are married with a gaggle of kids each, and I couldn't for the life of me tell you any two of their kids' names in total.
Speaking of the folks with multiple kids... God bless you, I don't know how you do it, but you seem to manage parenthood very well indeed. I have a hard time trying to feed and clean up after three cats – and other than food, water, and litter boxes, they are pretty much self-sufficient.
But while we're on the subject, y'all with the bigger families are the hardest of all for moniker-challenged dopes like me. I can't remember one of your kids' names, much less all of them.
Especially – and this is not meant to offend anyone out there who does this – when most, if not all of their names, start with the same letter. My brain doesn't do well with that. It sees "Tall One," "Not As Tall One", "Short One", and "The One In The Stroller".
Could you maybe color-code your young'uns and give me a cheat sheet?
I can't count how many times, when recruiting for the Easter or fall dramas at church, I have had to call up our Music Minister or Youth Pastor and ask, "Do you know this kid who signed up? Who's their mama? What do they look like? Should I know them from somewhere?"
I'm not kidding. I'm horrible at this.
Now my wife on the other hand, she's a teacher. She teaches Science to the entire 7th grade at her school. That's six different sets of kids each day, about 130 or so students in all. And she remembers all of them by face AND by name. And let me tell you – and any teachers out there reading this can testify that it's true – some people give their kids the craziest, most unpronounceable names imaginable. And yet she remembers them all.
Maybe teachers are a different animal altogether – they have to be, to be able to deal with all they have to on a daily basis. But this guy – who gets paid to write words in some semblance of order – can't seem to grasp names quite so well.
So, if I see you at a family get-together, and refer to your kids as "Little Guy" or "Pretty Girl", don't be offended. If I see you at church and speak to you without speaking to your kids, it's not because I don't like them. I just don't know who they are. Not by name, at least. Forgive me...