Animal themes: I thought everyone had one

Before we were born, my mom gave each of us kids an animal theme.

Mine’s elephants. I’m named after my dad, and he had a small, stuffed elephant from when he was a kid.

Ted’s is bears, like Teddy bears of course. My mom had a few special Teddy bears from when she was a kid.

Will’s is horses. He was the first of the kids born in Kentucky, and Kentucky is known for horses.

Raquel’s theme is rabbits. I think this is mostly because rabbits are cute and so is Raquel. That, and maybe because of Pat the Bunny.

Finally, Zach’s theme is zebras. He’s got the “z” in his name, the last of the alphabet and the kids.

Of course, I was like 17 years old by the time Zach was born, but growing up for a while, like when it was just Ted and I, I thought everyone had animal themes. I remember asking my mom, “What’s that word again? Like I have elephants, Ted has bears…”

She’d say, “A theme.” I could never remember that word. I always wanted to ask new friends, though, what their theme was.

“Oh, what’s your name?” I’d ask.

“How old are you?”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“What’s your… wait. Momma, what’s that word again? You know, like I have elephants, Ted has bears…”

She’d have to explain to my friends’ parents what I was talking about. And I just continued to wonder why no one ever told me their theme. Afterall, I always told them mine, at least when I could get Momma to tell me the word again.