Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name.

Now that winter is drawing to an end here in the Sonoran Desert, (and by winter, I mean it took at least 40 additional minutes to brew my sun tea) I guess I have come to terms with a few things that have been vexing me for awhile now. Not just little things either, like the fact that I will never be able to properly fold a fitted sheet, (unless you consider the appearance of a gigantic piece of wadded up gum properly folded) I'll never be able to spell bougainvillea (the pretty bush with the bright flowers) by memory, but I will without a doubt always go for the cheap haircuts even though the range of results varies a great deal. I just can't spend that much money on hair that recovers from any wrongdoing in a matter of weeks. As it turns out, I can accept these things. I can live with a closet filled with clean, crisply folded sheets on one side and huge pieces of wadded up cotton (600 count I might add). I can function nicely without spelling the "b" word-afterall how many times have I ever actually needed to spell that word? I can even rock the bi-level/90-10 haircut every few months if it means saving that much money. What I'm having trouble letting go is something much worse....something I've brought upon myself and my daughters.

When I became pregnant with my first daughter, there was no question what her handle would be. I've thought Rhapsody was a beautiful word for years and the meaning would be even more fitting for a daughter that I would love to mother. Rhapsody: an effusively or ecstatic expression of feeling... The "M." came later in my pregnancy when I realized that I would be giving a person whom I had never met a lifelong name that they would need to grow into. A name is an important thing to give...and I wanted it be a thoughtful name of which she could be honored and answer to proudly. I decided that once she knew who she really was, she could come up with the name that encapsulated those characteristics...the only stipulation was that it had to start with the letter 'M,' which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful letters and flowed nicely into Rhapsody and frankly, lots of words start with 'M' so it would give her enough choices. There it was M. Rhapsody Musial... fun to say, fun to write, fun to ponder what the M. would ultimately come to stand for in her own time. I took some heat, some strange looks and comments, one of my favorites being, "That's ridiculous" but in the end I felt that it was a small price to pay for something so important. Considering what teasing kids might come up with and how it would look in Broadway lights, I thought I had covered all bases. Nope. Totally overlooked the initials. You know, on every form in your whole life- you have to put first name, middle initial.... so what once was a beautiful, melodic and feminine name was now butchered and destroyed to MR Musial. Perfect. Sorry Lady Bug. When her social security card showed up in the mail, Jay thought it was addressed to him.

When I found out that I was expecting another daughter, I was at a loss. I didn't think I would have more than one child in the first place, always thought I'd have boys, and used up the best and only girl name I had ever thought of. What did that mean? Jay's turn? But then what would she end up being called up to on her graduation day from Harvard Law? Louise Galactica? Tequila Petrone? Tava Jr.? I love my name, but it's mine. She needed her own and it had to be good. My final cut was J. Lyric... went well with M. and was also melodic and to tell you the truth, I'm hoping for a singer. This time, the 'J' would be after her Daddy. Maybe if I gave her his name, she'd grow to have some of the many traits I've learned to admire. Jay liked the idea of having her named after him, but Lyric? Not so much. Since we both love the nighttime firmament and all of its splendor, it wasn't difficult to assume that we would agree on a name from the heavens. But when you start looking into star names, Alpha Centauri, Procyon and Fomalhaut just aren't that fitting for bouncing baby girls, unless they happen to be from the planet Romulus. Likewise the name xy4986l.203 wasn't what either of us had in mind. At a little boy's birthday party, Jay decided on Orion, one of the most beautiful and most recognizable constellations in the heavens combined with Jai, a feminine version of the name of one of my most favorite people...hmmm. I liked it. Fast forward to now when people constantly pronounce Orion Jai- OR-EEE-UN HIGH (as in Jai Alai, I suppose) and proceed to look for a little boy instead of a little girl. Well, not exactly what I had expected, but would work itself out in time...however, don't get me STARTED on how many people have never heard of the constellation Orion... Anyway, it didn't take long for me to realize in naming this little one, I had DONE IT AGAIN!! Her initials... O.J. Not so heavenly...

Well, it is what it is I suppose. I acquiesce. On the upside, my friend told me last night that they've both really grown into their names. That being said, I think I'll take MR. Musial and "The Juice" to the park before naptime.