Thursday, January 8, 2015

Little Brother has a Name

After much prayer, and baby name book page turning, and family tree climbing,
Little Brother has a name!

Brian and I debated again and again.
Discussing his name became a nightly ritual.

In true Jennifer Bell fashion, I made name lists and crossed out and added to as we called names aloud, scribbling them here and there, and running them through a myriad of name tests.

Being a teacher, I have a list of absolutely not, no way in h-e-double hockey sticks will this name ever cross the threshold of our home. This name must be cursed, only to be given to boys who go home on red every single day, and are never absent, not even tardy, or even called to the nurse's office for one minute's reprieve. Their immune system is as tough as their heads are hard. Boys that give their teachers nightmares every single night. None of those names would do.

Brian wanted a strong name for his boy.
A name that suited him through all walks of life.
This part was tough.
I had my work cut out for me.

Considering names that both suited a bitty baby to be loved and held and rocked,
but also exuded that rough, tough, don't mess with me, I'm a Bell boy air was a definite challenge.

We played the Rachel and Ross "veto" game so much that I was tempted to call him Little Brother every day for the rest of his days. Brian caught on and affectionately called him LB.

Then the right one came.
We couldn't get it off our minds, out of hearts.
We couldn't keep our tongues from uttering it aloud.
We cheered gleefully as his sweet name echoed about our home, bouncing off of the walls with unparalleled enthusiasm.
His name has been whispered across our pillows, sung in midnight lullabies, scripted on doodle pads.
It has been uttered prayerfully to our Lord, and excitedly shared with our families.
In perfectly articulated Bakerese, it has been called by his big brother time and again.

 Little Brother's name is:

James is my stepfather's first name.
He has been a part of my life for almost all of my life.
He is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world.
He unequivocally loves the Lord and loves his family.
There isn't a more special name our baby boy could carry.
He'll wear it well.
He'll wear it proud.

Barrett has been my top pick all along.
When writing my husband a love note in college, I included Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
It starts, "How do I love thee, let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth, and breadth, and height
my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight..."
I remember thinking, as a teenager, how much I loved that name for a little boy.
I quietly tucked it away, knowing it would one day be a perfect name for our boy.

Brian jumped on board when he read the name Barrett means strong like a bear.

His name is strong, born from love.
It's perfectly perfect.
I love him more each time I say his name.

It is etched right beside Baker's, all over my whole heart.

How do I love thee, my sweet Barrett, let me count the ways.

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