Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Pop-per-raffi

My siblings and I thought it was quite humorous when our mom had to run through two or three names before her tongue found the one she was looking for. With sisters named Alyssa and Gloria it wasn't terribly uncommon to hear things like“Re-Gloria” or  "Al-Glo-Rebeca." As a kid, of course, I couldn't fathom the numerous things a mother does all day, every day, and often all at once. Now, I understand. As I sat at the table feeding Raphael the other day I struggled to get the right name on my lips and it came out something like "Pop-Per-Raffi". 

And thus a new name for my children, in a collective sense, was born: they are now known as "The Popperaffi". It sounds kind of like Paparazzi. It may not seem like my children have anything in common with these infamous rabid journalists, but it's not as out there as you may think. I really do have my own version going on. Three people who I can't seem to shake; they watch me night and day. They're not yet equipped with cameras, but by their very lives they're recording my words, my actions, even my attitudes. And they really do follow my everywhere. It doesn't matter if I'm on the toilet or in the shower, they seem to find me! I'm reminded (and it's a timely reminder) of one of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Prentiss.

"My children, my darling precious children....what I want them to become I must become myself."

It's a tall order. I have high hopes for the kind of people I want my children to become. I don't care about how much money they make or what kind of social position they find themselves in, but I do want them, above all, to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and to love their neighbor as themselves. I want them to be kind, compassionate, generous, joyful, unselfish, courageous, loving, humble. It's what I want to become too, but I have a long, long way to grow. I know that Erik and I are the biggest earthly influence in their lives, that they see us at our best and at our worst, that many times our actions don't line up with our words or our expectations of them. But we love, and are abundantly loved by, a big God, a God who is bigger than we are, who loves our kids more than we do, whose plans for them exceed ours, and who is able to bring them to pass. 

So even though the calling is high, so very high, I won't lose heart. I will continue to live with my little Popperaffi and let them see my life, moment by moment, day by day. I will continue to love them, to play with them, teach them, correct them, dance with them. I will humble myself and ask their forgiveness when I have spoken harshly or become impatient with them. I will continue to pray for all of us to become more like our loving and kind-hearted Christ. And I will trust Him to complete the work that He started in us. 

And Mom? I hope you can forgive me for laughing when you called my Al-Glo-Rebeca. I understand now. I really do. 


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Marvelous thoughts; beats in harmony with my own heart lately. Your Popperaffi are very blessed by a God who loves them enough to give them a momma who loves them so sweetly. Thank you for sharing, Rebeca.

  2. my kids give me a hard time too! Its especially bad when mom calls one of her sons... Dor-Andrew! He looks and me and says, "I'm NOT Dorothy, Mom!". Sigh.

  3. Sigh. My kids say, "You named me, how come you can't remember my name"

    I have a fall back of "if you think that you are doing something that would make me yell at you, stop, even if I'm not saying your name"

  4. How funny! I love it.

  5. I've called my son the dog's name more than once. I can so relate. Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. I do that so much to my kids! I remember my mom doing it too.

    It is so wonderful that you can buy raw milk! The man that was selling it in our area had something happen to his cow, and the cow dried up. The only other place sells it for 6 dollars a gallon. So we are back to the old store bought stuff.


  7. Ha! My sister's name is Stefany, so we heard all variations: usually, "Ste-acy!" or "Stac-any" :)
    We gave my mom a hard time about that, too!

  8. Great post....been trying to think of a clever response but can't seem to come up w/ one quite as clever as Pop-per-raffi :)

  9. Al-Chad, Cha-Alec, even Car-Alec, in my most desperate moments! I sure know that humiliating feeling - and then the kids laugh at me! Shame on them!

    I love your collective name for your kids - that's perfect! One word from you and they all should come running. How efficient!

    I want those same things for my kids as well - and I am all too aware that I am their example. It can be frightening - I'm not who I'd like to be and grow weary trying, at times. But, yes, God is able to do more than I realize. Through Him, my kids will hopefully see the best in me and forgive me for my worst.

    Have a terrific week! I appreciate the inspiration.

    God bless,

  10. my kids just laugh and think i'm silly-we've resorted to a game "hey, what's your name, c'mere!'
    they get a kick out of that.

  11. I love the name "Popperaffi" fun! My kid's names mixed together, don't make such a clever name as that. ;)
    The Elizabeth Prentiss quote is so true, and I appreciated what you said about God's plans exceeding even our plans for our children because he loves them, and us, so very much.

  12. Hi Rebeca!
    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I'm glad to know you're reading along. Post any ideas you'd like to share anytime. I'm always interested in ways other moms are bringing the Faith to life for their children!


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