Friday, April 20, 2012

Your Names

I'm pretty sure that as you grow older you'll want to know where your names came from, so here's the story.

First and foremost, I wanted both of you to have names that weren't on the top 100 list of baby names. Maybe it was just luck, but I was always the only Maggie in my school. It helped me feel unique, there was never any confusion over who was being called for, and it seemed like a name that allowed room for personality. I wanted that for you, too.

I'll start with your name, Baby B. (That's you, Linus.)

Several years before you even existed, your father and I were watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. It was right around this moment in the show when your name was decided upon:

Charlie Brown and Linus contemplate the true meaning of Christmas in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (Photo: ABC)

In the Charlie Brown universe, Linus is by far the wisest person, understanding even as a child that the message of Peace on Earth that we should be enjoying at Christmas time gets buried underneath consumerism.

Here's how the conversation between your dad and I went:

Him: "I really like that name Linus."
Me: "Yeah, me too. If we have a boy, let's name him that."
Him: "Okay."

In the years it took to actually bring you home with us, the Maybe Baby was always referred to as Linus. I took "Linus Pills" (prenatal vitamins), saw the "Linus Doctor" (the fertility specialist), talked about "Linus's Room" (the room in our house that eventually became the nursery).

When I found out around 15 weeks that you were a boy, your name was a given. You had already been Linus for years.

I hate to tell you that you were named after a cartoon character, so instead let's say that the cartoon character was just the inspiration for your name. Ultimately, we loved your name because it sounds so smart, and if there's anything your dad and I agree on, it's the importance of being smart.

Which brings us to you, Baby A.

Veda, your name comes from Sanskrit and means knowledge or wisdom. Truly, though, I started loving your name a long time ago... around 1991, actually. Why? In 1991 this movie was released:

It's been many years since I've seen it, but when I first saw it in the theater circa the age of eleven, it really affected me. In case you haven't watched it yet, it's the coming-of-age story of Veda Sultenfuss. The film is a moving snapshot of the summer when a precious little girl becomes a young woman. Smart, precocious, intensely beautiful inside and out - Veda's character stayed with me.

Naturally, in my teenage years, the names of future children seemed a bit of a scary topic, so your name was filed away somewhere in my brain. When it was mentioned in reference to sacred Hindu texts in the Buddhist philosophy class I took in college, though, I remembered how much I loved it.

When we knew that you were a girl, I brought up Veda immediately as a suggestion. But here's the thing... your dad didn't like it at first. As time passed and you remained nameless, though, he finally asked me what my absolute favorite of all the names we had discussed was. I answered, and that was the moment you became Veda. I guess that what with all the work of carrying a twin pregnancy, he figured I had earned some naming rights. Don't worry, now that you're here and your name is such a perfect fit, your dad loves it, too.  Also, in case you're wondering, my second choice was Josephine from Little Women. You would have been called Jo. It's a nice name, but it's not you.

Another thing that's kind of funny about your name - I think you look a bit like the Veda in the movie poster. Agree?

So that's the story. I hope that as adults you'll enjoy your names. They were certainly chosen with lots of love, and I can say that at the age of 27 months, you're growing into them perfectly.

I love you so very much, and I can't imagine you being anyone else. You are the children I waited for.

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  1. Love their names!!! They are the children you waited for and I'm so happy for you =)


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