Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's in a Name

My daughter is named after my Grandmother. I knew years ago that if I ever had a daughter then she would carry on the name. During my pregnancy, I looked through my giant book of baby names searching for the right name to follow my Grandmother's. Names were highlighted, pages were tabbed, and I had a notebook with various configurations laying on my desk. This was not an easy task (I took it very seriously) and at times my husband and I butted heads over a few of my suggestions (I wanted to use Charlea, after my Great Great Grandmother, but that was vetoed).

Eventually, we settled on her middle names (yes, I said nameS, she has two and I had to fight for that as well). I wrote them over and over just to see how it looked on paper before filling out her official birth certificate. I spoke her names to her (and anyone that would listen) so I would become accustomed to saying them all together (for those occasions when she was really in trouble). I looked up the origins and meanings behind each of her names to make sure I knew what I was naming her. The cherry on top was in knowing that there was a personal connection to each name we picked out.

Rae's first name is after my maternal Grandmother (yes, I know I told you this already) and I knew I wanted to honor her by giving her name to my child. She and my Grandfather were a "safe place" for me. Always steady and strong. She taught me to bake and sew. He taught me to play cards and how to lose. If Rae wasn't a girl, I would have used one of my Grandfather's names. We lost them both this year and I'm still working through those loses. I loved them dearly and they loved me. I miss them.

Rae's second name is German in origin and based in mythology. I feel deeply connected to my German ancestry (I've become the family researcher) and wanted to honor that when I named my child (boy or girl). It also has a pop culture reference that my Mother and I hold dear (I'm not telling you because I like to keep some information private...yes I know privacy is an illusion, but allow me my illusion). We're very close...always have been...some people thinks its weird. We don't care because its just who we are and we're happy with our relationship...it's one of the healthiest ones I've ever had. She is my rock, my voice of reason, my grammar checker, and more. We finish each other's sentences, have the same thought at the same time, find humor in some of the most bizarre things, and yes...we argue, but we always make up. God help me whenever I lose her.

Rae's third name you already know. It's Rae. This name has a biblical connection for me (but that's a whole other story/blog). It's for Rachel, the second wife of Jacob. The wife he loved, the wife he worked 14 years to marry, the wife that gave him his favorite son, Joseph. Rachel was desired, wanted, and loved beyond compare and that's the way we feel about our own Rae. This name was also given to her because she is our own little ray of sunshine. The center of our universe. The bright dawn after the dark night. She is our everything.

Each name is significant and one day when she asks me why we chose these names I can tell her (or show her this post) and she'll know her names were thoughtfully chosen.

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