Today's #creativesprint prompt says to use my name for inspiration. So here are 4 people who make my day when they say my name.
  1. My husband, Jim.
    Jim seldom calls me by name. He favors other terms: Baby. Hottie. Sugar Britches. He sometimes calls me "Beth-ain-ee," adding a long A and too much emphasis to my middle syllable. He's about the only person who can call me Bethany, bringing back that moment: "I James take you Bethany…" Otherwise, I prefer not to hear the name I associate with childhood reprimands. Now and then Jim will say, "Hey, Beth." And I blush. He knows me like no one else, so there is deep intimacy in his use of my name.
  2. My clients and colleagues.
    Working from home, I can go 8 hours without sharing airspace with anyone but cats. But my work is collaborative, with phone calls and web meetings galore. Unlike face-to-face discussions, where eye contact takes care of so many greetings and handoffs, virtual meetings force us to address each other by name. I love friendly exchanges as others discover who's online. "Oh, Beth! How are you?" As the meeting progresses, it's gratifying to be called on—by name—for input. "What do you think, Beth?"
  3. My children.
    My step-sons have always called me Beth, not Mom. But they don't address me often, especially now that they're in college. When they say my name, they get my attention. And my own 3 kids? They call Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, and Mother. Now and then they call me Beth or Bethany, just to push boundaries. It's fun. But what thrills me is when they introduce me. "This is my mom, Beth Nyland." Sometimes they even follow with, "She's a writer." They get me!
  4. My mom.
    Though she lived her entire adult life in the Midwest, mom was born and raised in Arkansas. She always carried a little southern twang in her speech, and it was particularly obvious when she said my name. Mom made Beth a two syllable word: "Bay-uth." My mother died a few years ago, so I'll never hear her say my name again, out loud. But not a day goes by when I don't hear her in my head—and in my heart.