My mom spent her days at home taking care of little me while dad was the editor of Latvian newspaper “Laiks” translated meaning “Time”. The newspaper was created to let Latvians in the U.S. know about what was happening in Latvian society and so they could get news from Latvia. For dad, it was an ideal job when I came along because the newspaper office was within walking distance from the apartment and he could even come home for lunch. He had the oddest nicknames for me. When I was still a baby he called “Jazepins” which is a Latvian endearment and I’m not even sure what he was thinking of. When I got older and up until he died my nickname was “Bubitis” which also is just something he made up.
I guess he figured it would be easier for him because I had three names. When I started vocalizing mom had hopes of me calling her mommy or mammite in Latvian. One morning the first sounds that came out of me were “Agee grrr”. No translation only understood by babies. However, it was odd that I could vocalize the letter r so well and mom supposed that it was because my first name began with an r.
Then came the big moment when dad was rushing to get to work it was too much for me to see him going and I shouted, “Tetulit”. Now, this needs a little explanation. In Latvian, the name for Dad or Daddy is Tetis or Papa. There is another Latvian word tulit which means right away. My guess is that I combined the two words and what I was actually shouting was “Daddy, come right away”. It goes without saying that my dad was so delighted he was late for work that morning.
It is a small photo but it is a loving memory. My mom bringing me to dad at work and they’re standing outside of the newspaper office.