It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Big Brother

In our family, there’s this guy named Mathaus. In the same person, there’s also this guy named Yaya.

Go ahead. Laugh. I bet your family nickname was Mr. Fluff.

In all seriousness, the name was born with Birdie. I’m not sure at what point she looked at me and said “Yaya,” but there it was and there it stuck. First her, then Simon, and now Jude— all of them calling their oldest brother by disyllabic moniker that doesn’t even resemble his real name. Seriously. The only thing they have in common is a pair of As. Aside from that, the one is three letters shorter and contains two Ys while the other has none, and has five letters nonexistent in the other, and…

I’m Yaya. That’s my superhero name.

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Big Brother

That’s about all there is to it. At times I have to put down my pen, find the nearest phone booth, stop being plain old Mathaus, and start being Yaya. On a given day Yaya is hard to spot, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find him.

Mathaus doesn’t have time to stop and read that word for you, but Yaya does.

Mathaus needs to finish this video by tomorrow, but Yaya can work on it tonight.

Mathaus can’t play golf-ball hockey with you. He’s working hard to cut this piece of wood.  Yaya was cutting a hockey stick out of a piece of pallet board and is already looking over his shoulder to find his helmet.

I’m not Yaya nearly as often as I should be. That’s one of my major shortcomings. All too often I don’t have time to stop, and I don’t have time to listen. Then the Lord pricks my heart, and Yaya comes out. We all need to listen more, and live with our ears open. Little children won’t be little forever, but the impression you make on them in their childhood is the image they will keep of you for their entire lives. I’d rather be remembered as Yaya than Mathaus.

How about you?