Beloved Name

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Since a few days after we discovered I was pregnant, Carl and I have been preparing for the weighty task of naming our baby. From the very beginning, we felt fairly certain that we were having a girl, and so although we didn't really know for months, we never gave much thought to boys' names.

For months, we compiled lists and mental notes of names we loved, liked and didn't like, and imagined what kind of girl she'd be as a Lylah. Or a Stella. Or a June. We took turns writing out each name and middle name combination, seeing how the letters came together and rolled off our tongues and we imagined who she'd be after we'd given her a title that would follow her through life.

I love this Victor Hugo poem that totally romanticizes the idea of a name, and thought I'd share:

Beloved Name

The lily's perfume pure, fame's crown of light,
The latest murmur of departing day,
Fond friendship's plaint, that melts at piteous sight,
The mystic farewell of each hour at flight,
The kiss which beauty grants with coy delay,--

The sevenfold scarf that parting storms bestow
As trophy to the proud, triumphant sun;
The thrilling accent of a voice we know,
The love-enthralled maiden's secret vow,
An infant's dream, ere life's first sands be run,--

The chant of distant choirs, the morning's sigh,
Which erst inspired the fabled Memnon's frame,--
The melodies that, hummed, so trembling die,--
The sweetest gems that 'mid thought's treasures lie,
Have naught of sweetness that can match HER NAME!

Low be its utterance, like a prayer divine,
Yet in each warbled song be heard the sound;
Be it the light in darksome fanes to shine,
The sacred word which at some hidden shrine,
The selfsame voice forever makes resound!

O friends! ere yet, in living strains of flame,
My muse, bewildered in her circlings wide,
With names the vaunting lips of pride proclaim,
Shall dare to blend the one, the purer name,
Which love a treasure in my breast doth hide,--

Must the wild lay my faithful harp can sing,
Be like the hymns which mortals, kneeling, hear;
To solemn harmonies attuned the string,
As, music show'ring from his viewless wing,
On heavenly airs some angel hovered near.

Nice, no? Our little muse.

So...about two months ago, we arrived at a decision: To be indecisive until the very end.

We've got just a few weeks to go until our little daughter arrives and we've come up with two names that we will decide between after we meet her. Surely her true identity will peek through her big baby eyes, and we'll know. So, without further adieu, we'll be choosing between:

These are choices that we have come to love and feel connected to and I'm very excited to see who she will be! Lily is a name that Carl has always loved, and Aviv is a Hebrew name that means Springtime, or Renewal, which I find very beautiful and significant of her arrival and coming into our lives, at this time in particular. Olive is a name we've both really taken to, that sounds so lovely and pure, and June, well, it'll be her birth month, and we find it mighty pretty.


  1. They are both beautifully significant...


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