Thinking she was a boy, my husband and I quickly settled on a boy’s name that rolled off the tongue, had no negative connotations for either of us, contained an attractive nickname possibility, and the initials promised an auspicious future, according to my numerology friend. When our ‘son’ was born, however, he turned out to be a girl, so another name had to be sought. A new list formed and grew; names were researched, discussed, considered and tossed. Finally, agreement was reached and our last creative act in the forming of our daughter’s fate (if you believe in such things being attached to names) was complete. The name felt right, as if she had always existed, and after the first few hours of knowing her, neither of us could imagine life without her and her name in it. It seemed as if she had always been there between us, waiting for us to make her happen.
This morning when I got over the initial stage fright of joining a public forum for my first blog, I faced once again, the same feelings about naming my child. The thoughts I write have been formed inside me; words made of bone, flesh, muscle and nerve. While I want to release them and give them an opportunity to express creatively that which they need to say in order to live, I’m also aware of my desire that they be accepted, respected and perhaps even loved by those who look upon them.
I see other bloggers with the eyes of a new parent who suddenly understands how other parents feel, and how precious their child is. Like taking my infant to pre-school and watching other parents’ worried faces as they drop off their toddlers. I catch their eyes and smile, hoping their child won’t eat mine, but become her first playschool friend. I let go of her hand, feel her excitement as she runs towards the playground, and the pen in my pocket – the one that I used to hold and control – breaks under the pressure of my worrying thumb. I finger the pieces unconscious of the freed ink spreading into cloth, while my daughter, freed into the world of her cohorts, runs to explore, challenge and enjoy.
As I labour these thoughts, nurturing the words, encouraging their growth, I reach the point where it’s time to let them go. I release them in the hope that they will be accepted, respected and perhaps even, loved, by some. This broken pen writer has just given birth.
Photo courtesy of James Bruce, Timberscombe, Somerset, UK