Friday, March 11, 2016

Hello, my name is...

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Today is Middle Name Pride Day, and it reminded me of my youth and a time when I was less than ready to share mine with the world.  Growing up, I didn't tell many friends because it's a "girl's name." My middle name is Leslie.  I realize as an adult, it isn't just a name for girls.  But that's a complex concept growing up, especially when you're getting razzed about it.

Grandpa & Grandpa Bresler with my mom

I'm actually proud to have the middle name.  Leslie was my maternal grandfather's middle name as well.  Harry Leslie Bresler, Sr. was born in 1928 and served our country as a member of the United States Navy during World War II.  He met and married my grandmother, and they had three children.

Grandpa Bresler
St. Patrick's Day, 1967

At 38, my grandpa died in an accident at work.  My mom was only a teenager, so my brother and I never knew him.  His middle name is a gift to me and a way to continue his legacy.  But even with that mindset, I hesitated when naming our son when he was born.  I didn't want him to be made fun of for having a "girl's" name, too, so we opted for something different.

Kevin Leslie and Brooke Leslie

Nearly six years later, when our daughter was born, my wife and I made a decision that no matter the new baby's gender, the middle name was going to be Leslie.  So my daughter Brooke and I share a middle name.  I remember how proud my grandma was when she learned her great-granddaughter would be the fourth generation to have Leslie as a middle name.

So to all my friends who never knew, my middle name is not Les, Lester, or Lee like I'd implied many years ago.  It's Leslie, and I'm proud to share it.

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