Friday, June 20, 2008

The Importance of Names

Giving things names has always been a specialty of mine. Most of our childhood pets were named by me or as a collaboration between myself and one of my brothers. There was (and still is) Watson, our first dog, as well as Fruitcake the cat (dubbed as such due to his inability to walk in a straight line), Quazimoto (the cat with one eye), and Henry Jones Jr. (the cat we named during an Indiana Jones phase my brother was going through).

Given that illustrious naming history, you will now believe that I spent HOURS choosing the perfect name for my etsy shop. Junie None Designs sounds kind of ... different. I know. But it is the perfect name for the shop I was inspired to start by my mom, whose childhood nickname was Junie None. If it wasn't for her, I would not have decided to become a stay-at-home mom and would not have been able to start my little on-line business.

The third in a family that eventually contained 6 children, my mom was named Jane. Just Jane. Her parents didn't even give her a middle name. When she started school they filled out the forms: First name: Jane. Middle name: None.

This didn't cause any problems for a while. After all, Jane is a simple name to say and simple to remember. In 5'th grade, however, she had a teacher who actually read the form and not only mistook her name for June, but actually believed her middle name was "None." So during roll-call on the first day of school he called out "Junie None," and the name stuck.

I didn't fully understand the sacrifices my mom made as a stay-at-home-mom until I became one myself. She had a Master's degree from Stanford and was an extremely accomplished musician (piano and guitar). She loved learning for the sake of learning and was an absolutely brilliant problem solver. She could have had any high-paying job she wanted, but she chose instead to stay at home raising us 4 kids and maintaining our home. She put her brilliant mind to the task of raising a healthy family, and the bookshelves in her room are still lined with books such as "Saving Childhood" and "Growing Up Writing." I now know that she must have had many days when she wondered what her life could have been like if she had chosen to work. I know that she was sometimes bored while she played with us and angry while she cleaned up after us. I know that she felt the pull of the world telling her that she would be more important, more successful if she got a "real job." But she kept right on driving us to soccer practice, making us eat our vegetables, and giving us art projects to do, knowing that raising children is one of the most important tasks a person can be entrusted with. I am so thankful to have had her as an example.

So that's the long answer. People always ask me what Junie None means, and now you know. I usually just tell them "it's named after my mom, and no, she wasn't a nun." :)


Lauren said...

Hooray! What a great story. Your mom would have been SUPER proud of you.

ayumills said...

That's where the name of your store came from..! and I love the background! I too respect my mom who was a stay-at-home mom to raise three kids. I have worked at a childcare and discovered a lot of things about children that their parents didn't even know about. Very often. and I thought I probably want to be closer to my future children.

By the way, I've tagged you.
Playing is totally optional, but just wanted to let you know;)

Mandy and Seth said...

you're mom was such a beautiful person. she touched my life in a big way. i miss both our moms a lot. it's cool that you can make her memory live through your art.

Jen Mc. said...

This is an incredible post. Being that you could actually sell photography with your other goodies, no shock on this end that you've told this amazing story through two seriously amazing photos.
Can't wait to meet her.
And I love that shot of Little Heather. :)

* Amanda * said...

That was such a great post. I loved reading how your shop name came to be! Thanks for sharing! And congrats on the new baby!

pam said...

I love this post. I never knew your mom graduated from Stanford! So she was beautiful, genuine and Brilliant!

Even though i had heard the "junie none" story before, it was sweet to read it again...with pictures!

emgray said...

What a beautiful writeup about your mother. Very special and very touching. Thanks for sharing.