I’m currently visiting the US for work.
My boss-equivalent at the overseas office here said she’d like to meet over dinner. I was happy to. She added, she might get her kids as well along. I really wanted her to, because I knew her son’s name is Aiden, with an ‘i’.
I’ll get to meet an Aiden/Ayden – that thought was bittersweet.
Aiden is her younger one – 6 yrs old. With a missing front tooth and freckles on the cheekbones, he smiled wide every time he spoke.
I so wanted to tell him that my son’s name is Ayden too, but didn’t want to end up answerless with any of his innocent questions that could follow.
A while later, Aiden asked me to spell my name. I did. He said it sounds musical. He said he likes my name. That’s when I let it out – “I like your name too. That’s my favorite name.” He smiled wider.
I turned to his mom – “our son was Ayden too.” She said – “I know that. With a ‘y’ right?”
“There’s another Ayden?” A visibly excited Aiden asked.
Without touching any delicate points, his mom explained – “yes, that’s A-Y-D-E-N. You’re A-I-D-E-N.”
“When was he born?” He wanted to know if he was his age.
“June 2016” – I said.
“So he’s 2 yrs old now.”
“He was born in 2016. This is 2017” – I tried to pick his brain.
Confused, he opened his fingers and tried to count and get his math right. His 8 yr old brother, Nick, tried helping him too.
Thanks to the short attention span of kids – he went back to his tacos.
I told his mom how we chose the name for Ayden. Turns out, it’s a similar story behind naming her son too.
Selective hearing – Aiden lifted his face from tacos every time we mentioned his name.
“Does he also play soccer?”
“No.” I just answered safe.
“He’s just 2 yrs old, he can’t play soccer.” Nick came up with the logic.
They were pretty convinced that 2017 minus 2016 is 2!
We went for ice cream after dinner.
When asked what flavor I wanted, I said – I’ll have what Aiden’s having.
It was refreshing to see him glee everytime I gave him more importance than his brother.
I sat next to him. I asked him a few things. He said he’ll answer after finishing his ice cream. Kid’s got his priorities.
I did try to include Nick in the conversations, so he doesn’t feel left out. But, selfishly enough, my focus was on Aiden. I wanted to get a picture with him, but wasn’t sure if it’d be appropriate.
Let me admit – it was indeed tough calling him Aiden – a name that I never got to call enough. A name with a rich story, and even richer memories. A name that I wish I could shout out ‘mummy is home’ to, when I’m back home next week!