Amazing Kids! Magazine

Beautiful Simplicity

By Isabel Perozek


Isabel. Yup, that’s it, just Isabel. Not Isabelle or Isabella or even Isabela. Just Isabel. I really like that my name is spelled I-S-A-B-E-L because it’s less a common way to spell it. It is straight to the point with no extra letters and nothing fancy. It’s simple. Not bland. But simple. And I love it. Isabel is considered a medieval form of the name Elizabeth, and it is a royal name in Spain and Portugal. My mother’s entire family is Portuguese, and my grandmother on my father’s side is named Elizabeth, so Isabel has a lot of special meanings to me.

Because my name is Izzy, I always think people are saying my name when they ask the question “Is he?” There have been so many dinner conversations where someone would say, “I don’t know, is he?” Then I would go on to say, “Yes?” or “What?” so that everyone just ends up confused.

I have, by far, the most nicknames of anyone in my family. Although now I have outgrown a lot of them, one that has stuck with me is “Ick.” I run down the field, breaking away with the black and white ball at my feet, hear “Go Ick!” coming from the sidelines, and immediately know that my dad has arrived. A smile instantly begins to creep across my face when I hear those familiar words. When I was little, my hands always used to get sticky, so my nanny started calling me Sticky Wicket. Over time, that evolved, first to Stick, then Ick. My dad is the only one who still calls me Ick, but hearing him say it feels safe and comfortable and simple. To people who don’t know that story, hearing my dad just call me Ick sounds strange, like “yuck” or “gross,” but to me, it would be strange if he didn’t.

Izzy is like a bumblebee, buzzing, light and happy and bubbly. Izzy is warm and inviting. Isabel is hard, like the crash of the waves onto South Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, one of my favorite vacation destinations. Isabel is practical and straight to the point. Izzy is waking up on Saturday mornings with the whole weekend ahead. A light purple. Isabel is the number 14, no attention, simple. Izzy tastes like warm chocolate cake, but Isabel tastes like coffee, strong and bitter. It is ignored by most people.

I love my name. It is simple, it is happy, it is silly, it is serious, but most of all, it is me. I represent what my name means. I love that it is my choice whether I am Isabel or Izzy or Ick today and every day. I love the sound the Z’s make when other people say my name. I love the sound they make in my ears. That familiar sound is me, Izzy Perozek, and it is unique because I have made it that way.