Yamamma! A Linguistic Tragedy

Yamamma was a special little boy. He had a family that loved him very much, but for some reason he had never had any real friends. He had been told from a young age that his life would be hard, but he didn't truly understand until that fateful first day of school. His mother, Hismamma, walked him to the bus stop, counseling him along the way on what to expect.

"Son, school will be difficult. You're smart so the classes won't bother you, but the other children might be very unkind."

"Whatever do you mean, Mother?"

"Our family has been mistreated from the day your were born. Now understand it's not your fault, but some people just don't appreciate our heritage. We named you Yamamma, which in our native tongue of Lithuanian means 'strong boy' but people don't seem to like that name in this country."

"Mother, I am sure that I will make many friends in school. No one would hold something like an odd name against me!"

"Oh, you poor deluded child."

Hismamma broke into tears and ran back towards their house, leaving Yamamma all alone at the bus stop. As he sat there on the bench, Yamamma smiled to himself. Finally he would make friends. Other children his own age. It's not that he didn't love his family, but they were nothing like the glimpses of other families he saw on Television when his mother and father were out of the house. He wondered at the things he heard, they described things as "cool" or "radical" but he didn't understand what they were saying. Sometimes they sang, but the music seemed less important than the flashy outfits they wore or the cars they rode. Those songs were not at all like the traditional folk songs of Lithuania Yamamma sang with his family.

As the bus pulled up, Yamamma picked up his bag and climbed aboard. The driver looked at him smiling.

"What's your name little boy?"

"Yamamma!" he replied, holding up the traditional Lithuanian greeting finger.

"Alright you little snot! Get in the back," the bus driver barked. "I swear these little bastards get worse every year!"

Yamamma didn't know what he had done to upset the driver, but thought it best to do as he asked rather than bothering him more. He made his way down the aisle, looking for an empty seat. Most of the seats were already filled with children laughing and enjoying their reunion after the summer. Finally Yamamma saw an open seat and stood waiting to see if the little boy sitting there would let him sit as well.

"Hey, sit down, man what are you waiting on? My name's David. What's your name?"

As Yamamma sat beside his new friend he answered, "Yamamma!" But suddenly David was pushing him back into the aisle.

"Then find another seat, punk!"

Perhaps he and David would not be such good friends after all. Yamamma continued down the aisle until finally he found a completely empty seat in the last row. He sat his bag down beside him, and then turned around facing out the back window. The tears began to well up in his eyes, but he knew he should be strong. Hismamma and Kissmighass were counting on their son, and he would be strong for his mother and father. Yamamma was sad, but knew that things would get better.

Coming soon to a blog near you: Yamamma! A Linguistic Tragedy Part Two -- Yamamma meets a friend