What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. -William Shakespeare
“Mommy! Why are there so many kids named Emma?” my eleven year daughter, Emma asked.
My answer, “I think a lot of parents like the name “Emma” plus Rachel on the sitcom Friends named her daughter Emma a month after you were born causing many Rachel fans to name their daughter Emma. I decided to find out how popular the name “Emma” is. A quick Internet search confirmed its popularity:
http://www.behindthename.com/name/emmaI also found out that ‘Emma” is originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element “emen” which means “whole” or “Universal.” I have to admit that I became interested in the topic of names because of my daughter’s constant questioning about her name plus a recent experience that I will remember fondly for many years to come.
I share today in honor of Emma and how proud I am of her. My hope is she will continue to enjoy working hard and giving her best in all of her endeavors regardless of the outcome . . . the way she strived to win a basketball championship a month ago. The weekend before the championship, Emma and I went to an office supply store as I wanted to make some posters for the team. While waiting for me, Emma tried out pens by writing the following . . .
“This is Emma. I would like to share something with you as I wait for my mommy to decide on the boards and markers she wants buy to make posters for my basketball teammates. Last year, my basketball team lost the city 4th and 5th graders championship. For an entire year my teammates and I have been focused on one primary vision: to bring the championship to Colfax Elementary School this year. So far, we are undefeated and if everything goes as planned, we will be the city champions. What I have learned from this experience is that it truly takes a team to put together an undefeated season. Every one of my teammates bring something unique to the court which when put together has helped us be victorious each game. Our first win was followed by our second win, and so on and so on. We realized that it was going to be a long and challenging season but we never gave up as every single one of us was focused on the vision we set for ourselves after we walked off the court last year in second place. Although I am excited and we are now in the championship, the reality is that I know we could lose. We will be very sad and disappointed but for now all I know is we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t because all of us made a pack to win the championship a year ago.”
Emma’s note was written a week before the championship game. Today, a month after the game, we know the outcome. Emma’s team lost the championship.
After waiting all year for this day . . . February 16, 2013 was a sad day. There were lots of tears. The opposing team led by 10 points before Colfax could score. Although the teams tied at 17 towards the end, Colfax could not end the game with a win. For a while, Emma blamed herself for letting the team down as she missed lay-ups, jump shots and foul shots. As a mom, I just could not say anything to make her feel okay (which is the worst feeling ever) so I let her be sad. At one point when she was still sobbing, I said, what can I do to make you feel better . . . shut up? And she smiled through her tears and nodded her head.
The school’s basketball season is over and Emma is over the loss of the championship. What is not over for Emma is regular basketball practice at the community center, on the court at a nearby park and the basketball stand in our driveway. What is not over is Emma’s passion for basketball. What is not over is Emma’s zeal and commitment to prepare herself for another championship.
Emma is truly not just a name . . . Emma understands disappointments and the sacrifices needed to excel . . . Emma knows how to use loses to spur on for excellence . . . Emma is growing to be a whole and well balanced young woman . . . I am so proud of my Emma. Thank you for enriching my life.