August 12, 2006
By LINDA CROW
Back to school -- ahhh, the memories I'd like to forget.
For instance, I had an oddball last name: Batt. Other than allowing me to whip across two T's in one express stroke, "Batt" brought nothing but school days opened with and hemmed in by Batt jokes. By middle school, I learned to answer clever quips like, "Hey, is that your Battmobile? Is that coat your Battcape? Is Battman your dad? Do you live in the Battcave?" the way you answer a two year-old: "Yep, umm-hmm. Gee, you're funny." Or sometimes, I'd sarcastically go along, "Yes! And this is my Battpencil, my Battdesk, my Battclassroom and Battschool!" I became pretty tired of "Battworld."
Ancestry.com offers this charming Batt history: "Origin and meaning are not clear, but it is perhaps akin to batt 'cudgel' and so, as a byname, given to a thick-set man or a belligerent one." I guess that includes thick-set, belligerent females, too, which I am at least once a month.
Like a lot of little girls, I dreamed of Prince Charming. Only along with his shock of dark hair and white teeth, his name would be "Someone Smith," or "Somebody Jones." Yes, I daydreamed we would seal our love with a K.I.S.S.: Keep Important Surname Simple.
And then I met the Prince. Dark hair, white teeth, athletic, funny, dark skin, religious, and very, very smart. One problem: His last name was Crow.
Imagine that. I had fought the black flying-object battle my entire life, knowing that there would be light at the end of the Batt Tunnel upon marriage. I found "the one" but --holy irony, Battman! -- his name denoted another black flying object, proving once and for all that God has a sense of humor.
Eventually, the Prince and I prepared for little Crows. I didn't know whether to read Dr. Spock or Caring for Nestlings. I did read one piece of advice that seemed pretty useful in a Crow handbook: Before you decide to tackle the job of raising a baby crow, there are a few things you should consider. Baby crows, depending on their stage of growth, will need to be fed every 30 minutes up to every couple of hours from sun up to sun down. My teenaged son still eats by that schedule, usually at a popular local Mexican restaurant. His name is Jordan, but having a witty English major for a mom, he's lucky he didn't get named "Edgar Allan Crow."
I don't mind my name anymore. Someday it's going to change again for good -- not by legal document or marriage but by the Lord, who promised in Revelation 2:17, "I will also give [her] a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to [her] who receives it."
Why is this exciting? Because a long time ago, God created and then Adam named. Someday, I'll hear my creator himself say my name, and it will be a perfect fit. Until then, I am content to be the daughter of a Batt and wife of a Crow. Anyway, it could be worse -- I've seen the surname "Butt."
So no matter what name you're called by at home or at school, remember that the truest thing about you is what God says about you -- that you are loved beyond mere human words. He has a special name waiting for you, too.
Linda Crow, Muncie, is the mother of three teenagers and works in youth ministry. Read her blog at www.2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com.
Originally published August 12, 2006