Growing up, Uncle Mac, my Mom’s brother, used the word “Luvee” with us. It was most definitely a term of endearment and we stood taller and felt prettier whenever he said it. Uncle Mac, smart and handsome, was an airline captain, flying trans-pacifically most of his career. Younger than Mom, he and Auntie Janet would visit the farm with their girls some summers. Striking and fashionable, they made a glamorous pair; their girls were fun and engaging, my age and younger, and those visits are remembered now with great affection.
Present day: I work full-time. My son and his ex work full-time. The grand-children go to school and day care .. full-time. And sometimes it feels like our time together is parceled, coming in bits and pieces.
But Wednesday night they were over for supper and a bit of a visit after that. When big brother A got his homework out at the table with his Dad and Uncle, little one asked me to play.
And of course I said yes.
The dishes sat and the leftovers waited.
Taking her hand up the stairs, I called to her as I often do, “C’mon Luvee.”
And she replied as she often does, using my words, “C’mon Luvee” in her chirpy sing-songy little voice.
We played. We dressed in costumes.
We made up silly songs on the piano.
We talked and we cuddled and we dragged toys out of the closet.
And later, after all of us gathered once more, and after the hugs and the kisses and the groceries and the promises to get together again soon, she ran back to me and said, “Neena, you’re MY Luvee.”
And she’s right. That I am.
Do you have a familial “term of endearment” that’s made it through generations?