Names and Words

Natalie has a new classmate this year. Her name is Suzi Clay. As the kids recite their names, interesting thoughts occur to Natalie. I hear the question she brings me and try to answer it, thinking about how much I am teaching her, and happy about that!

Nat: Mom, why is Suzi’s last name Clay?
Me: That is probably her parents’ last name. Just like you are Natalie Rickert because Dad and I have the Rickert last name. Grandpa Russ has the last name Rickert, too. Did you know that? And Seth’s last name is Rickert. When a baby is born it gets the parents’ last name, so that is why Suzi’s last name is Clay.
Nat: But why Clay?
Me: (Hmmmm, how else can I explain this?) Well, uh…. last names… and uh,
Natalie: Why Clay, Mom? Is that like playdough clay?
oh. i get it now. why do some peoples’ names sound like the names of objects. guess I missed that on the question end. good thing she understood it better than i did! So, here I go again:
Me: Well, Sean used to have a teacher named Mrs. White, like the color. and remember that teacher at your school, Mr. Brown? Sometimes people have last names like that. blah blah blah. Wonder if I’m making any sense to her now!!! Haha! Kids.

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