Maria, Mario and I went for a walk in the stroller the other day. Yes, Maria is 6 years old and still rides in the BOB stroller with Mario. To her credit, though, it is like a car to her. I cannot stand driving anywhere (until the dead of Winter arrives) so we go everywhere in the BOB. When her friends drive by in their parents’ cars looking at Maria funny, I want to yell “This is just like your car but it is a convertible!” I am clearly more bothered by it than Maria who seems to have no issues with jumping in the BOB and getting a ride around town.
As we were walking down the street, we got on the subject of names. Maria asked what names I had chosen for her while she was in my belly. I told her a couple: Sophia and Grace. She responded with a grunt and seemed happy that we had chosen Maria. Mario dove-tailed on her question asking what names we had thought for him. I told him there was really only one other name that we seriously contemplated at the hospital and it was “Rocco.” He looked at me with those penetrating blue eyes and shook his head: “And you chose Mario?!”
I apologized telling him that Mario is a family name and he looked so much like a Mario at birth. He wanted no explanation – only an agreement that his name from that point forward would be Rocco. Maria and I agreed. When we got home, Jon greeted us. When Jon asked how is Mario was doing, Mario looked at him matter-of-factly and stated “My name is Rocco.” Jon apologized and followed in our footsteps calling him “Rocco” all night. Later in the evening, Mario and Jon were playing around and Mario decided that he needed to add a little something more to his name. “Dad, I am now going to be “Rocco Awesome.”” The next morning we were all running around getting ready for school/work. Mario was downstairs with me and Jon yelled down to him “Mario!” Mario sat in the family room and did not respond. Jon yelled to him again. No response. Finally, Jon yelled “Rocco Awesome!” and within a second, we heard “Yeah dad?” He was serious about that name.
Rocco Awesome stayed with us for another three days until the grandparents came up to visit me for my birthday. I had warned them about his new name and they were prepared to call him by it but when one of them said “Hi Rocco Awesome!” he shied away and said “No, I am Mario.” The rest of the day and week he maintained his Mario status without mentioning Rocco Awesome again. When I looked up the meaning of the names Mario and Rocco, I understood why Mario reverted back to his original name. “Mario” means “manly”; Rocco means “rest.” There is no dispute which definition fits Mario better!
Jon and I are relieved to have our Mario back with us even though we must admit that he does have the look of a “Rocco” – moreover, a “Rocco Awesome.” At least we can take a sigh of relief to the fact that he has not reverted to one of his old characters – “Wayne-Wayne” who rapped and spread out his arms taunting “It’s on boyyy.”