Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The name game, Part II

Big news, we have a name! Although for most of you this probably isn't news at all. As the nickname Lil' J would suggest, Handsome Coastie and I have agreed that the first name will be "Jack" and the middle name will be ... a surprise!! Haha, gotcha! (Hey I'm just relieved that we've finally made a decision). But I will tell you that the middle name will not be Russell, Daniel or Bauer. :)

To compensate for this anti-climactic event, I will now launch in to the historical, cultural and theological considerations in our selection of Jack's cognomen. For those of you who attended my Pennsylvania shower, I apologize for this doubly-disappointing post, as you have probably heard all this before...



It all started long ago, before HC and I were married, possibly before we were dating, although I've misplaced my name lists from that era. And although not everyone picks out their future offsprings' titles that far in advance of parenthood, we do, and we just so happened to like the same name - Jack. Fast forward a few years to our pre-pregnancy days and my husband announces that he intends to bestow all of our impending children with "J" names (see previous Name Game post) and "Jack" immediately moves to the top of the list. Actually, no, allow me to clarify. Jack moves to the top of his list and to #2 on my list (I'm saving my #1 name for the next boy!). But a year or so later (still very much pre-pregnancy) our plans are nearly foiled when close-relatives begin to consider the same name for their soon-to-arrive baby boy. A twist of fate and "Jack" remains on the market. Followed by a positive pregnancy test, followed by an "It's a boy ultrasound," followed by HC's prompt announcement that his son will be "Jack," followed by my announcement that "Well, we think we have a name but we're not positive yet ... I don't really want to commit to anything yet ... what if we change our minds before he's born ... what if someone else having a baby before us uses the same name or the media catches hold of a horrible person named Jack ... what if he ends up actually being a girl", followed by hubby's continued assertion, followed by a second boy-confirming ultrasound, followed by shower invitations referencing a baby named "Jack," followed by shower gifts referencing a baby named "Jack," followed by me exclaiming "I give up, it's meant to be, his name is Jack!" Okay, so not exactly like that but you get the idea.

Now onto the rest of the story. HC likes the name Jack because he thinks it sounds like a studly football player/future coastguardsman turned politician. I like the name Jack because it sounds like an intelligent English author. :) My professor, a former Royal Navy officer (as in Her Majesty and not Commander in Chief) also likes the name and promptly informed me that the name is both British and nautical. According to Wikipedia, "Jack Tar was a common English term used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of the British Empire. Both members of the public, and seafarers themselves, made use of the name in identifying those who went to sea. It was not used as an offensive term and seafarers were happy to use the term to label themselves." He also informed me of a traditional Newfoundland and Labrador folk song "Jack was Every Inch a Sailor." Good to know our son's name is right in line with his nursery theme! :)

One of the real reasons we like the name is because it is a diminutive form (whatever that means) of John. We had actually considered naming the baby Jonathan after his Daddy and then calling him Jack, but those kind of situations can get messy so we canceled those plans. Jack means "God is gracious" or "God's gracious gift" - the same meaning as John, which also happens to be the same meaning as Janine (a diminutive form of Jane). We both feel that "grace" has been the perfect theme for this pregnancy. For not feeling wholly prepared for this season of our life, we have definitely sensed God's hand and direction over the past 8 months. We have been so blessed with a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. And it has truly only been by the grace of God that, during this pregnancy, we've both been able to work full-time, attend grad school (finish a degree) and still be able to enjoy time with eachother and summer company. We're also especially grateful for the opportunity I now have to work from home and spend more time being a mom. God has been so good, and we hope that Jack understands God's hand in his life that's been guiding his steps from the very beginning.

Special thanks to Megan for the awesome nautical "Jack" letters.

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