Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I forgot to tell you, officially . . . we chose a name!

Names are so very important. They're you on paper, they're first impressions, they're embodiments of your spirit: the part of you present on people's lips, in their words, when you aren't there. . .

Naming our children is in many ways, the beginning of their life story. A true name is said to have power, to be mystical. To determine some piece of self.

And, so, of course, I took naming our little girl quite seriously. We had a short list of names, and we poured over what they meant; what they held.

We wanted something beautiful, something strong. Something different, something with meaning. Not just a good definition, but true meaning. To us. To now. To her, in decades to come.

We asked for votes from people we knew, but looking back - I think the moment we put all the pieces together it was pretty obvious what her name would be.

Samaire (sah-MEER-ah) Alice

A name not common. A name, we think, holds beauty and grace. A name she will be explaining how to spell and pronounce from now until forever. (Ha. Might as well torment her from the very beginning, no?)

Her initials will be SAS - something Sam and I both feel is utterly appropriate, even now, before we've truly met her.

When you first look up the meaning of the name Samaire, you get that it's a gaelic name that means "chosen" or "blessed one." Which is awesome, of course. A nice definition, made all the finer that its in Gaelic, the same language our wedding ring inscriptions are in . . . but alas, our friend Joyce (who actually speaks Gaelic) hasn't ever heard of the name and is a little dubious that it's truly Irish in origin. Which, you know, fair.

But upon further research, Sam discovered it's actually Latin for Elm tree. This was the point at which I fell in love with this name.

First, because the elm tree is the home of the gods. It stands for strength of will and great intuition.

Even better, to me it will always be a symbol of home.

Sam and I's first home, and Samaire's too. Elms line one of our favorite places in this city, the Literary Walk in Central Park.

The Literary Walk is a great mall lined with huge, beautiful American Elm trees (the favorite tree of Olmsted, designer of the park). They form a cathedral ceiling to the pathway, and are absolutely breath-taking no matter what time of year you pass beneath them.

We love this part of the park, and if you visit us you will no doubt walk it's length, ending up at the Bethesda fountain (another place dear to my heart).

I love that Samaire's name will forever be tied to this place. For so many reasons. We won't live here forever, and I want her to know she always have a piece of this city with her. She will always be, to me at least, a New York City Girl.

I also believe there are few things in this world that stand comparing Sam and I to as much as Central Park. It is beauty and wildness in the midst of steel and stone. It is crowds of people finding solitude. It is at once perfectly natural and completely contrived.

It is a puzzle of contradictions. Yet the park itself would not be half so wondrous if not here in the midst of skyscrapers, and this city could not survive without this vast expanse of trees. They are at once wholly independent and completely intertwined.

Just like us.

So she'll have not just a piece of her first home with her, but a lot of why that means so much to her mom and dad. It's important, I think. It's not just a city or a location, it's a sort of spirit I want her to have surrounding her.

I want to begin her story rich in legend and myth; the kind of thing that grows without sense of time, and is filled with the strength of great love.

Of course, her middle name is no less important - but I believe I'll let Sam tell you all about that.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Beautiful name, beautiful mama, beautiful story.