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Say the names

September 15, 2008

A month ago, my darling boy, you were born. I think now of all the names we never really got to use, our little TIN man, Tadpole, Bear. We will never know if you would have wanted to be a Theo or a Ted, and that’s another lost possibility that we will grieve for the rest of our lives. But today I remember your birth, and I want to celebrate the names that were truly yours.

I say your names.

Trickster Baby

This was your secret prenatal name, the name by which I called you when I first found out I was pregnant, when I realized my life was going to change drastically and that I was going to be a mom. You were a trickster baby throughout your life, too, hiding from the doppler, wiggling away from monitors, kicking the needle when they did the amnio, turning head down just when we thought you wouldn’t. You were a joy to us, even when you were driving us crazy, making us look, making us guess.

Huckleberry

Huckleberry, Huck: the names I used when I put my hand on my belly and talked to you (there are half-seconds when I forget and I still find myself doing this). Huckleberries are the best of all berries, like blueberries, but with a flavor and tartness all their own, and they grow in the Northwest, like you did. Admittedly, your parents also have a certain fondness for Doc Holiday’s line in Tombstone: “Ah’m your huckleberry.” Your father suggested Huckleberry as a middle name, one evening as we were standing in the kitchen. I laughed and laughed, but it became the perfect prenatal name, and this is the name that we called you by the most in your short life. I think this is the name you knew – just after you were born, your daddy called you by this name and you opened your eyes for him.

Theodore Isaac

Theodore: gift of God. You were a gift to us – every kick and hiccup precious. We loved you so hard, baby. We loved every second we were able to spend with you. I hope and pray you felt our love.

Isaac: he laughs. My amazing surprise baby, my I’m-not-sure-I’m-ready-for-this but wow-do-I-want-this baby. One of the things I grieve is never hearing your laugh. I hope you are laughing, somewhere, now.

Teddy

Theodore was such a big, serious name. You were also our Teddy, our little guy. We wondered what other nicknames you’d pick up as you moved through life, if you’d someday groan and roll your eyes at us when we called you Teddy, but when you were born it so clearly fit. Serious little Theodore, darling wee Teddy.

Trickster Baby, Huckleberry, Theodore Isaac, Teddy – I love you so. We miss you so.

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