I explained it back at the beginning, but I'm happy to do so again.
Flea is one of my nicknames. However, ONLY my mother calls me Flea. It's not that no one else is allowed to call me Flea, it's just that no one else ever has and, for some reason, I don't know as though I'd respond if someone other than Mom referred to me as Flea. Chalk it up to a mother-daughter thing.
OK, so the story is that I was quite the active child and would "bounce around from place to place...like a flea." Hence the nickname.
When asked why she called me Flea, she said "because it's her name." Huh? Alright...short story long:
When I was born my parents had no clue what to name me. I came this close to being Clementine (thank you, Dad), but my mother objected vigorously to that selection so it was off the table for discussion. I left the hospital as "Baby Girl Walker" and was summarily baptized within a week of my birth (go, Mom - I couldn't get it together to have Liam and Ella baptized until they were 7 months old). Needing a name for the baptism, my parents culled from their own names and I was baptized Lee Frances Walker. Lee being my mother's middle name and Frances being the female variation of my father's first name. My mother, however, didn't like Lee as a first name for a baby; she thought it was too adult (because, you know, babies don't grow up or anything) so that is not the name that went on my birth certificate.
Apparently, way back when, you had time to file birth certificates. None of this name your baby before you leave the hospital and you can pick up the birth certificate within 10 days business. So...after much consideration and debate, coupled with my mother's desire to have a name that "sounded good with Walker," I was finally, officially Heather Lee Walker, "Heather" being my sister, A's, suggestion. Frances was dropped and I never liked the spelling of Lee. Fast forward to high school: I changed the spelling of Lee to Leigh and, to honor my father who died when I was 6, I took Frances back. So, then I was Heather Leigh Frances Walker. Sometimes, I feel a pang of guilt about changing the spelling of Lee and I know it made Mom a little sad, but it's Leigh and I'm sticking with it.
OK, but where the hell does "Flea" come from? Well...apparently, my mother reversed the order of Lee and Frances and created "Flea." I'll admit, I like Frances Lee much more than Lee Frances, but still - when she said it was my name, I looked at her as though she had 4 heads...because didn't she remember the very name she had given me?! Granted, when you've got 10 kids, it's hard to keep everyone straight.
So, that's where the Flea part comes from...
When I was contemplating starting a blog, I wanted to play off of my nickname and also convey how I try to live my life with gratitude. I batted different ideas around, with the top contender being "Gratefulea," but I wasn't sure if worked. So, I eventually settled on A Grateful Flea.
Because, really, that's who and what I am. A grateful flea.
And now you know.