Back when Michael Jackson first introduced his son Blanket (born Prince Michael Jackson II in 2002), I thought he was absolutely nuts. Blanket? Who calls a kid Blanket? I passed judgement, snickered, probably even took some jabs about the name with friends. I was childless then. Now that I'm a mom, I totally get calling your child Blanket.
I find the nickname to be adorably endearing. Just like Blanket himself.
We all have nicknames for our kids. But we aren't all in the extreme public eye like Michael Jackson was. His every move was watched and judged. People questioned if the kids were really his and made fun of their names.
These are things his kids, who are growing up, will know about if they read what has been written about them. Paris is 13. Prince Michael I is 14. Blanket is 9. No child deserves to read some of those terrible things people said about them -- those who questioned their "validity" or took cheap jabs at a name that perhaps a father lovingly gave.
It's clear to me that Michael was a great dad to these kids. They seem loving and warm and kind. And Blanket is an adorable nickname. Maybe he loved his blanket -- couldn't be without it. Maybe it's just one of those nicknames that just happened.
I call my daughter Bunny most of the time, but her name is Penelope. My husband and I also call her Pips, Pippi, Monkey, Monks, Boo Boo, and Tutu. My son, Hunter, is called Hunti, Manny, Man, and Baby Man. If media outlets started making fun of the nicknames I gave my kids, it would feel terrible. I think I would want to live in a bubble and never come out of it. And that's kind of the way Michael lived with his three kids. And I get it. He was a protective father and I would be the same way if I faced that kind of scrutiny that comes with that level of fame.
My heart hurts for the Jackson kids. They lost their father way too soon. Every time I see a story about them or when I saw Paris on Ellen -- I root for them. And I'm reminded how much love Jackson had for his kids -- he gave them nicknames that came from the heart. We shouldn't make fun.