What’s in a name?
As I held my hands on my slowly swelling belly I knew I wanted a family name for you.
There were plenty of beautiful girls’ names from both sides to choose from – Marie, Ainsley, Rosa, Maisie and Mable were all tossed around. I was leaning towards Eleanor in the end.
The boys’ names weren’t so appealing – Norman, Aloysius, Oswald, Waddy and Donald just weren’t floating my boat.
We all became preoccupied with something bigger, something tragic, halfway into the pregnancy.
Your beloved nanna was very sick, very suddenly. It didn’t look like she would make it to the birth. She didn’t make it through the week.
As we drove back from the hospital, I wondered if we should call you Joan in her honour – if you were a girl.
Still, I flicked through book after book, searching for a boys’ name your dad and I could agree on.
Asher, Declan and Benjamin were all thrown into the mix, but nothing sat just right.
Perhaps we should search for a name with greater meaning, rather than something that simply sounded nice.
Peace came to mind. A name that meant peace.
I typed it into the computer and a few suggestions came up. Amani – too rich. Axel – too rock ‘n’ roll. Calum – we knew too many. Humphrey, Godfrey, Wilfred – all names of friends’ dogs.
Then I saw it – Jonah – meaning dove, meaning peace.
And it was a family name. Your departed nanna’s name. She would live on through you.
It was what we were looking for.
I’m not a religious person, but what happened next could only be described as spiritual… or hocus pocus to the skeptical.
When we scattered your nanna’s ashes, it was a sad day. We left the beach feeling lost, depressed, empty.
The next day, your dad, your sister, and me with you in my belly, returned to the sand – just us.
It was sunnier, brighter, better. We looked out to sea and saw a humpback whale so close to shore, we could’ve swam out and touched it.
It lingered in the water for such a long time. And it waved. It flapped its fins at us for what seemed like hours.
It made us smile again. It made us feel at peace.
A few weeks later you were born.
A beautiful baby boy.
As I handed you to your dad and the midwife turned the lights on, I looked around the room.
Right in front of the spot where you entered the world was a huge painting of a humpback whale and calf.
Call it coincidence, but the fact that Jonah first appeared in the Old Testament alongside a whale, was all the proof I needed that your name was perfect.
Just like you.
* Yesterday our family celebrated Jonah’s naming day
** Linking up with My Little Sunshine House on the topic ‘in a name.’