Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Three Weeks, and a Name (or Three)

Can this dear tiny girl really be three weeks already? I cannot say how much we are enjoying this little bundle. She brightens our days with her sweetness. I don't know how such a helpless little thing can so capture our hearts, but she surely has! 
It took us a while to settle on her full name, but we finally did. Here is Brigid Pearl Annabelle. Like all of our kids, she has three names, each with a story. I find naming a baby difficult; I was never one of those girls who had lists of baby names scribbled on paper years before I even got married. (You know who you are!) I tend to approach it with a lot of hesitation. I want their name to be meaningful and fitting, as well as something that fits well with the other kids names and our last name. After Peregrine, Alethea, and Raphael, we could hardly call this little one something too common! 
Moving on to her stories: 

Brigid: Some time ago we got a children's story book about St. Brigid of Ireland, a great woman of God who was known for her great care and generosity toward the poor. She devoted her life to serving God by serving people. The kids loved her story, and we all liked the name; we pray that our little Brigid's life will also be characterized by love and compassion for all. The name means strength. 
Pearl: All of our kids have had a "womb" nickname, something simple and sweet we called them until they were born, or in some cases, until they were one, or five. Peregrine was Pip, and that's what he was known by until he was about a year old, and then he just sort of grew into his "big" name. Then there was Alethea, who, to this day, is known as Poppy. Raphael was Pepito, and he was never called that after his birth. And then there was baby number Four, little Pearl, called that since she was probably the size of a pearl, a small and precious life being fearfully and wonderfully knitted together within me. We've already come to know her as Pearl, and so there wasn't any question of whether or not that would be one of her names.
Annabelle: Not long ago my sister Alyssa gave us a copy of an old Golden Book called Little Mommy. It was a favorite of ours growing up; my mom read it so many times I think she can quote it to this day. It was out of print for years and recently reprinted, so I was delighted to introduce it to my own children. Poppy quickly came to love it as well. It's the story of a girl who is "little mommy" to her dolls, and begins "This is my house and I am the Mommy, my children are Annabelle, Betsy, and Bonnie..." When we were talking about what Brigid's third name should be Poppy voted for Annabelle. I looked up the meaning, and it means grace or favor in Hebrew, and lovable in Latin. It just seemed to fit, and since Peregrine had contributed Samuel to Raphael's name, we thought it would be sweet for Poppy to get to help choose her sister's name.

And there you have the story behind the name, and here's one final picture of the girl, who, we trust, will someday grow into that name: