LAST NIGHT…I received a comment …
“Popped on your site for an update and here I find a baby name discussion! …..I have ALWAYS wanted to name a little girl Jean Louise and call her “Scout” after a few favorite people (both fiction and real!) but my name suggestion is not going too far. I am loving Anna Grace, Drew, and Carolina Jane. Of course, anything with Lee would work for me! Enjoyed the posts!”
……for a moment I wondered….who is this person? is it me? Who is this that knows I have loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” since the 8th grade when my favorite teacher of all time, Miss Smith read it aloud to us each day for a month…and that my favorite character of all time is “Jean Louise Finch aka Scout” ? …and then I saw the name…The comment was left by my oldest and dearest friend, the Maid of Honor at my wedding, person I have not seen in years and years, my best friend Karen.
Karen and I met in the eighth grade when my family moved from Tampa to Atlanta. Karen was adorable and popular, a cheerleader and future Miss CHS…sensitive and kind and a very good friend. We left treats in each others lockers, had a million sleepovers and sat long into the cold nights watching our boyfriends practice soccer. Talking and laughing and shivering…and then, in the middle of the tenth grade, my parents told me we were moving back to Tampa. I screamed and cried and launched an all-out strike to get them to reconsider…which now as an adult I realize was futile, because the decision to move was long in the works and all but done. My heart broke in a million places leaving Karen. I hurt so badly and missed her so deeply. I still have a box of letters she wrote me…mostly “who likes who” ….but the moment was pivotal.
My parents would fly Karen down in the summers, over Spring break…and we even went to college together…but Freshman year at the University of Georgia was not the same as going back to tenth grade and picking up where we left off and I went home after one semester and Karen left after a year. We have stayed close in touch over the years of marriages and divorce, kids and when I lived in New York, Karen came to visit.
So much of my life is a blur but I remember this one walk we took, down by Washington Square in the Village, like it happened yesterday. I was on cute-handsome-no-money-quasi-actor-boyfriend number 10 …and, as only your oldest and dearest friend OR a sister can say, she said ” When are you going to grow up? I know how much having a family means to you…and I am worried that it is all going to pass you by…” I defended my direction and my dream and the boyfriend…and then one month later I had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst which turned into 5 weeks in the hospital, almost dying, and the biggest wake up call a girl could get. Things like this happen and you don’t go back to life as you knew it. You see it as a sign and I did…I would be damned if I was going to run out of time and spend my years floundering, waiting on an tables and an Oscar and for a man to have a family. I wanted to be able to support myself whether the acting jobs came and so, much soul-searching and one statistics course later… I was heading to Boston to become a Nurse Practitioner. I met Damon the day I moved to Boston…
Listen to your Best Friend!
In honor of Karen and the many hours we lay on her spindle bed thinking up baby names…here is my current list:
Alison, Amelia, Bonnie, Catherine, Clementine, Emily, Josephine(Joey), Maria Elena (Malena), Maura, Mildred, Nancy, Patricia (Trish), Ruth, Suzanna and of course Karen…
Alan, Atticus, Andy, Brigham, Campbell, Charlie, Ford, Gregory, Jasper, Leonard, Marcus, Reve, Richard, Rocky, Smith and Trevor
I AGONIZED over names when I had the daunting task of naming a human person for the rest of their lives….but I consulted NOT one list for these names. Instead I went straight to my heart…they are names of people in my life who bring me joy and whose name means so much more than letters and sounds. These names all make me smile.
Tell me YOUR favorite baby names!!!!