[Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together - away from this blog. I'm deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!]
I would like to thank Tor’s wife for the opportunity to guest post on his blog today. Sure it is his blog but without her heroic dive back into the world of birthing, he might not have been so apt to post the likes of me.
A few weeks back Tor ripped a post right out of my brain. He just seized it and tore it loose. I don’t think he knew he was doing it, unless those were actually his footprints around my Post Ideas file and not those of the fabled Sasquatch. The post dealt with names. I don’t know how things roll in the Constantino home but I’m betting that picking a name for the newest addition/edition has taken up residence in their free-time hours.
Someone’s name is an important piece of who that person is. The giving of that name is met with great ceremony in many cultures. The Native American Hopi tribe in the Southwest would place an ear of corn (representing mother Earth) near the baby. On the twentieth day of life, the ear of corn would be rubbed on the baby’s body while facing the rising sun. The moment the first ray hit the child’s forehead, the name would be given.
When my wife and I found out our first child was coming, we took our natural roles. She began searching the known universe for the perfect name. I, in turn, took the job of making fun of the prospective names as if I were a classmate on the first day of school. We focused on our jobs with laser precision and very stringent criteria.
My wife wanted a name that would be a heritage. Something that would point to their Creator and to the gifts they could give back to His service. I wanted a name that little Redneck Smith from down the street couldn’t manipulate into something derisive as a means to make himself feel better. We both wanted a name that was either definitively masculine or feminine and that probably would not be shortened.
When the day came for our firstborn to be an individual, we didn’t rub corn or any other vegetable all over her. However we did bless her with the moniker Camille Elizabeth. Depending on where you look that means Server and God’s Promise. We gave her the kiddie version: God’s Little Helper. Now, she is fifteen and very literally living out that name as a missionary in South America.
Act Two of the same play came 22 months later with the arrival of her sister. We decided to stick with the same method as before. I’m just really good at channeling my inner kindergartener. We picked her first name but struggled with her middle name. After a very traumatic birthing the staff asked me what her name would be and I blurted out Caroline Emily. Emily had made the short list but without much fanfare. On that day she became Song of Joy, Eager.
She is a free spirit, a lunatic in the best kind of way and it is a joy to watch her. As she lives out her name in this foreign culture I watch her eagerly seek ways to benefit her fellow man.
I can’t say that my kids have become who they are because of the names we chose for them. But I can say that we told them repeatedly throughout their childhood what their names meant and how they could live that out. We gave them a heritage from day one.
Tor and company have not enlisted my services as Punk Kid while choosing the name for their little one, but I know they have given it much consideration. Congratulations, Constantino family.
This guest post was submitted by Ken Hagerman, also known as The Barba. He operates in his spiritual gifting—satire—by blogging about the inconsistencies between what God’s calling him to be and what he is. Sometimes satirical, sometimes serious, always entertaining. Find him at Rambling With the Barba.
Ken blogs from a small country in the heart of South America, where sometimes he’s referred to as a missionary, more often as simply BARBA. He enjoys living in Paraguay, a place where his goatee gets cheers from the kids and hisses from the monkeys.
@RamblingBarba on twitter