Saturday, April 28, 2012

N is for Name

You are named.
As soon-to-be parents, we spend hours deciding your name.  Search hundreds of baby name databases.  Look up meanings.  Try different sound combinations.  Debate and negotiate with the other parent.  Check where the names fall on the Top 100 list. 
And then you are born, and we realize it is the moment of reckoning.  Whatever we decide to put on that birth certificate is your identity for the rest of your life.  All that research and discussion has culminated here.  We’re decided, and happy.
And then you grow up enough to talk.  And decide you don’t like your name. “I want to be Emily!” you cry.  Or “Why didn’t you call me Samantha?  Or any other good name that I would like?” 
People ask “How do you spell that?” when they hear your name. Or “How do you say that?” when they see it.  And it drives you nuts and you wish your mom and dad had given you a good name.
Your current name of choice is “Emma.”  Entire; universal.  Which is not bad taste, seeing as it was your great grandma’s name.  The one who made you a special pink blanket, who died when you were 1yo, before you could meet her.
But your name is Esmé.  Esmé Elaine.

Esmé means "loved," and Elaine means "shining light."   A root and a purpose.  Your Mom gave you your first name (which is a common Afrikaans name), and Dad gave you your middle name (which is Mommy’s middle name), so you are a good representative of both of us.

So just stop with the complaints, little Miss Esmeraldina-belle-oney.  Or I shall take a Native American approach and dub you "Esteemed Flashlight."  And everyone will know how to spell it.

But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, who formed you, O Esmé: "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.
I love you, my amazing, beautiful, clever, dilly-dallying, energized, following, grace-filled, hidden, indomitable, Jericho-miracle, kidlet, loved, mirroring, named baby girl!
Your Mom
Each birthday, I write a letter to my baby girl.  This year, the year of the amazing 5-year-mark, I’ll be working from A to Z.