Monday, November 3, 2008

Four Days

What to name the child? We wrack our brains. We debate picking something out of a hat. Is it true what they say, that "nomen est omen"?

True story: my grandmother Betty wasn't "Betty" until she chose it for herself in her fourth or fifth year. Before that, she was known simply as "Baby." One day her parents sat her down and said, "Baby, we can't call you "Baby" forever. What would you like us to call you?" Baby thought for a moment. The wind swept over the proverbial plains. "Betty," she said, and so it was. To those who knew Betty, I think you'll agree it was the perfect name for the person. To those who didn't know Betty, suffice it to say that my sister named her fearless Calico cat "Betty Brown." That Betty Brown likes to drink water from the bathroom sink tap and "accidentally" fall into someone's hot bath water. She likes to fight her older, canine sibling named Bo--and win. Now, did feline Betty come to be so ornery because of her name or does her name merely draw attention to her orneriness?

What to name our child? We've looked over the plains and felt the winds sweeping. They sweep far, wide, and fast. We listen for any names they may carry on their wings. (They do not carry any names on their wings.) I guess we'll just have to wait until the end of the week to meet this new person, sit him or her down, and say, "Baby, you have only been alive for a couple hours now. We cannot call you "Baby" forever. What do you want us to call you? This name? That name? Or this name? Oh, or that name? Or one of these other names on our list? Your choice. And, Baby, no pressure."

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