My Father Names His Son
By now, you’re familiar with Ol’ Steve, my father. I love my dad. I’m definitely his son. I inherited his love of technology, his facial hair, and the sigh he lets out whenever he starts thinking about anything at all.
Ol’ Steve has many gifts. He can sing well, and anything he touches is magically fixed (note: I did NOT inherit THOSE gifts). However, there are some things that, like all of us, he just isn’t that great at.
In particular? Communication.
Go figure. He would spawn a slew of hyperactive boys who can’t stop running their mouths, but he himself doesn’t enjoy talking that much.
Nothing that surprising, really. He’s just reserved. That’s not ground breaking.
But one moment of poor communication stands out so much more than the rest.
Flashback to 1978, and the birth of the first Craven brother. My parents have already decided they like the name Anthony, but haven’t settled on a second name.
My mother turns to ol’ Steve and says, “Steve, why don’t we name him Steven, after you?”
Ol’ Steve: “Okay.” (There’s no evidence that this didn’t totally come out as a grunt)
Thus, Steven Anthony had his name, and continued our family tradition of going by middle names for some reason.
Years passed, and mom and dad were getting close to welcoming their second child to the world. Then, the strangest thing happened.
Mom saw a glimpse of Ol’ Steve’s birth certificate, and this is (probably) the conversation that followed:
Mom: “Steve….I saw your birth certificate today.”
Ol’ Steve: “Mmph”
Mom: “Uhh….your name is Steve.”
Ol’ Steve: “Yep.”
Mom: “Just Steve.”
Ol’ Steve: “Yep.”
Mom: “Not SteveN.”
Ol’ Steve: “Nope.”
Mom: “We named Anthony ‘SteveN'”
Ol’ Steve: “….yeah, we did.”
You see, at no point during the entire naming process did Ol’ Steve figure it was important enough to mention the fact that they weren’t technically naming their son after him.
And at some point during the dating/marriage process, my mother had somehow forgotten that she was marrying a man simply named Steve.
But the story doesn’t stop there.
It wasn’t until just under two years ago that my brother Nathan and I heard this story.
Let that sink in for a second.
For most of our lives, we had believed that our father was named Steven. And we were wrong.
So up until not too long ago, I didn’t actually know what my own father’s name was.
Let this be a lesson, children. When you aren’t good at communicating, this is what happens.