Monday, May 16, 2011

Patience and Prudence

I have two teenaged daughters. It is all the angst and tear filled fun that you would imagine. I call my daughters Patience and Prudence online.

 I started calling them nicknames online after participating in some school related email groups. Some of the parents in the group had had problems with school administrations spying on them online; that information was then used to undermine the parent's efforts to get school services. i have been lucky enough never to have had that kind of relationship with my kids' schools, but it's a habit I have kept.

They both have had various nicknames through the years. This pair of names is one we've all always been especially fond of because of how the girls got them. One of our family's favorite places to go is Sanibel Island. One fall our family went to the island with my mother-in-law as she recovered from surgery. We had a cottage on the beach and the kids were little enough that they lived to collect the shells. 

One night we went out to eat. The restaurant had a musician. The girls were enchanted and sat perfectly attentive in their seats at out outdoor table. They had braids to tame their hair still wet from the beach. When they tipped the man to play some song for them he called them Patience and Prudence.

 As he got ready to play their song, he told the story of the original Patience and Prudence and picked my elder timid and cautious daughter to be Prudence. He named my younger carefree and easy-going daughter Patience. Our family thought the names so accurate that they have just stuck. Even know, nearly a decade later, my girls will still answer to those names.


  1. That's a cute story, Julia! I don't really call my girls anything online - I think I need a couple of nicknames.

  2. What a lovely story, Julia! I really believed that you'd called your girls Patience and Prudence!

  3. @Jackie - There are some really darling animals in your corner of the world that would make cute nicknames. :-)

    @Alexandra - That is why I finally wrote this post! I've told the story to a couple of people already who thought the same thing. Actually Patience has so many nicknames that she is rarely called by her given name. When she hears it, she knows she is in trouble.

  4. Julia, what a lovely story! You know, I have Drama, Danger and The Girl (though she was The Girl only because she was a baby and had the personality of...a baby. I think she deserves a real name now)

  5. The Girl is a mischievous little thing, isn't she? But always smiling in every picture that you post.

  6. What a fabulous story. Love the names and that, even now, your daughters answer to them.

    The picture caught my eye. I grew up in central Fl and have been to Sanibel Island - VERY beautiful!

  7. Thanks, Aimee! Sanibel is one of my favorite places in the whole world.

    Patience, even in high school, will still answer to Pooh Bear as well. She doesn't even bat an eye. It's great to be so comfortable in your own skin.

  8. Hi Julia,

    What a lovely story! And I love how your daughters came by their nicknames. Thanks for sharing.