July 22, 2014

The Name Game

What's his name?




Say it again?


Richard? Oh, hi Richard.


Oh. . . oh, hi Brichard.


Brigger?  Brigger.  That's interesting.

Bridger, as in 'over troubled waters', but with an R at the end.

Hmm, I've never heard of that.  Where did you come up with that?

And so the frequent dialogue goes.

Eliza has even named her little boy Bitty Baby doll, Bridgen - one of the names that she has heard others throw out there as a Bridger alternative.

Even when it is written correctly, people think it could not possibly be right and add their interpretation.  For example, on his extensive medical files some medical office billing personnel thinks, "Bridger, their son - that can't be right.  They must mean Bridgette, their daughter." And so they cross it out on the medical file to correct it with Bridgette Larson, our daughter, and file it to our insurance as such, who promptly rejects the claim because we don't have a daughter named Bridgette on our plan.

*sigh*  It has happened more than once.  More than six times.

If I knew that Bridger was going to be a child with special needs with a medical file the size of Kansas and that I would have to repeat his name more times than some have their names spoken in a lifetime, then I would have named him Joe.  Simple.  Single syllable.  Joe.

But, that wouldn't work.  Because he is a Bridger.  He is as unique as his name.

His namesake, Jim Bridger, was a renown mountain man who was a trapper, a scout and a guide that explored and trapped during the early to mid 1800's in the Western United States. In the mid 1800's he created a trading post, later called Fort Bridger, to service pioneers along the Oregon Trail.

And when your husband loves everything Old West with a passion, you have a son named Bridger.

So, consequently, a must-do ticket item in this grand road trip adventure is to connect the past with the present and take Bridger to Fort Bridger.  Our favorite gal, Jordain, and I threw all the kiddos and service dog in the van and headed to Wyoming on Saturday.

Fort Bridger. . . wow.  Don't blink, you might miss it!  The wonderful thing is, my kids don't know when an adventure is a bust.  Everything is exciting to them.  We even stopped for some soda when we left just so I could make sure they thought this was a super cool adventure (which bumps any adventure up to epic when we stop for a soda.) For me, the soda was to rid my mouth of the horrid taste of rusty water that plagued it from drinking from the on site water fountain that was probably using the same plumbing pipes installed by Mr. Bridger himself.

As I was absorbing the beautiful expansive blue sky of Wyoming, I couldn't help but dwell on the contrast of what I was looking at.  We had just traveled across the country in a matter of days in my massive black van, complete with entertainment, refreshment and comfort options of every sort.  We didn't lack for anything.  Sitting next to my van was a replica of a pioneer wagon, used by hundreds of thousands of pioneers that crossed that trail headed to various destinations of the West seeking everything from land, to fortunes, to religious freedom and taking months to get there.  The wagon was rickety, small and otherwise lacking in every way.

How lucky am I.  How blessed are we.

A spontaneous road trip to Wyoming for the day brought with it a renewed appreciation for how easy we have it -- even on this road trip.

Fort Bridger made me think of my own little Bridger in that same contrast.  How, to those pioneers, the small and primitive Fort Bridger must have looked like an oasis.  Fort Bridger was where they could stop and replenish everything they needed that was essential to their journey.  

Bridger is our oasis.  Through him we have gained everything that we need in our journey too.  

His name definitely fits him.  He is Bridger.  But if that is too hard for you, you can call him Joe.