Thank you for sharing our excitement! Jonny and I have been so touched by all the sweet comments.
With each baby, it is easier and easier to let most everything go but just being with him. I’ve hardly knit a stitch. My stack of books doesn’t even really appeal to me. I’m perfectly content to just lay in bed and look at my baby. Jonny asks with concern, “Are you terribly bored?” No, I’m not. I’m counting days, relieved that I’m not required to get up yet, that I am supposed to be resting with my baby. The newborn stage is far too fleeting. I know that well.
I want to tell you about his name. We had the hardest time naming him, which is different than our past babies whose names came to us more easily. You might want to grab a cup of tea before sitting down to read his name saga:
Before he was even conceived, I had this notion that if I ever had another little boy, I would name him, Job. I know it’s not a name that is used very often, I think partially because it is spelled just like “job” and also because it means, “the afflicted one,” or “persecuted.” And yes, the Job of the Old Testament was certainly persecuted, but there is far more to his story. From the introduction to The Book of Job in my Bible: “The Book of Job, named after its protagonist, is an exquisite dramatic poem which treats the problem of suffering of the innocent, and of retribution. The contents of the book, together with its artistic structure and elegant style, place it among the literary masterpieces of all time.” With the exception of Seth and Gabe, all of our children have one name that has a literary theme.
Just a few weeks into this pregnancy, I was pretty convinced that this baby was a boy because my boy pregnancies and my girl pregnancies have followed pretty consistent patterns. I quickly began to think of him as “Baby Job.” The name came up here and there, and I was often met with looks of concern when I shared it. When people think of Job, they tend to think of suffering.
Early in the pregnancy, I took a little trip with my friends Elizabeth, Elizabeth, and Ann. That first night in a hotel room in North Carolina, we sat up late talking and laughing. Somehow the topic of what Jonny and I might name this baby came up. I said, “Job.” Immediately Ann said something along the lines of, “Yes!” She totally understood and shares my love for the name. In my eyes, the book of Job is not about suffering, so much as it is about faith and trust in God. But mere minutes later, just as I was feeling really excited about finally having someone agree that Job is an excellent name, Ann pulled the plug. “Oh, Ginny…” I can’t remember her exact words, but it boiled down to this: Our last name is Foreman. “Job Foreman.” You see? That’s kind of a problem, I guess. Ann said something about him filling out a job application…I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. I’ve spent the rest of the pregnancy trying to figure out how I could still name him Job. My technique was to sandwich it between two other big names. We’ll see how it works. I am picturing him writing S. Job Amadeus Foreman…or something like that. He may end up going by Sebastian. We don’t quite know yet.
As far as coming up with his other two names, that was super hard. I drove Jonny crazy. For instance, we might get woken up in the middle of the night by Silas, and then I wouldn’t be able to go right back to sleep. I’d start whispering…”Jonny, Jonny, Do you want to talk about baby names?” Snore. He said a lot of things along the lines of, “You just name him whatever you want.” To which I would respond with dismay, “But it’s your baby too! You have to have an opinion!” For some reason Jonny can come up with girl name ideas, but not boy names. When he does come up with a boy name, it’s super weird. So with the boys, I have to just keep making suggestions until we find one that he likes. One evening we were sitting up after the kids were in bed talking about my favorite topic, what we would name the baby. I started reading through my baby name book,the Dictionary of Patron Saints’ Names. I was struck by the name Amadeus, a name that I’ve always associated with Mozart, and never really thought about the meaning of, which is “The lover of God.” Jonny liked it too. And so, Job became “Job Amadeus.”
Over the next few months, we nearly settled on a couple of first names to complete the “Job sandwich,” but they just weren’t quite right. My main concern was that I really wanted Jonny to like the first name we chose, not just agree to it because I liked it. I also wanted a name that our baby could potentially go by, if Job just doesn’t work out. I want this child to have options. We finally found that name with Sebastian. The name means “venerable” and then of course there is Saint Sebastian, and it’s always been on my list of “names that I like.” The problem I had right away with it was that using Sebastian and Amadeus in the name just sounds a little over the top, especially considering that both of those names are associated with famous composers, neither of whom are the reason we chose the names. I suggested that we might ought to drop the Amadeus, but in the end we kept it. Larkspur was insistent about it, and even threatened that if we took it out of his name, when she grew up she would name every single one of her boys Amadeus. And she began to chant, “Amadeus One, Amadeus Two, Amadeus Three….”
This baby, who made quite the dramatic entrance into the world, I think he can handle his big name.
So now we will just wait and see who this dear little one becomes. Our three youngest children have called him Job from early in the pregnancy, and that is what they are calling him now. Jonny keeps calling him Silas, and actually turned to me one day last week and said, “Can we just have two Silas’?” I mostly call him “The Baby,” which is what I typically do with all of our babies for at least a little while. And as we all know, with the way little children can quickly gain all sorts of nicknames, there’s no telling what we’ll end up calling him. The important thing is that he’s here, he’s loved. I love him so much I can hardly stand it.