Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Name Your Inspiration

Butch and I had a small book of baby names for our first baby (we didn't know the sex) so we both took the book, crossed off every name we refused to name our child, or names of old girlfriends/boyfriends, compiled the list of what was left, and waited.

We knew the name would be Alexis Katrina or Katrina Alexis. "Alexis", because I was obsessed with the name "Alex" for a girl since read the book and I saw the made-for-tv-movie "Alex: The Life of a Child"  and "Katrina" because I had always loved my bff/sister's name and how much people thought it was so beautiful and exotic sounding and how much attention she got for her name. I figured I'd give MY Katrina every advantage by naming her that feminine, ethnic sounding thing.

I'm pretty sure that, if it had been a boy, we would name the baby "Ryan". We had a nice friend named Ryan and didn't know many other Ryans so it had good connotations with us.

Of course, you know it was a girl and, immediately after her LONG AND DIFFICULT NATURAL DELIVERY (40 hours of labor and about 5 of it really hard labor) I just really wanted to rest. I'd pretty much had it with everyone and everything around me and I just wanted to sit there and get stitched up and cleaned up and not be bleeding or pushing or in pain. They put her on my chest for just a second but they couldn't keep her there because I was still delivering "stuff" and was bleeding a lot. They brought her over to the light bassinet and dealt with her while my mom, Butch and Auntie Nina ogled her and exclaimed stuff about her. They kept trying to get me to look over there at her but I couldn't say what I was feeling because the doctor was stitching me up and pressing on me and making me feel that I was still in labor!!!

I think they thought (for those brief moments) that I wasn't caring about my newborn baby or that she had caused me so much pain that I didn't want to look at her or connect with her but the truth was that I felt as though I already KNEW her and didn't need to SEE her to have that connection. I was just needing to be clean and fresh when I held her and had the time to really look at all the wonderful features of that new little creature and I felt as though it was VERY unselfish of me to share her with the people I loved so that THEY could finally "get" what I had been feeling all those months!

Maybe I'm not saying it very clearly but these were the things I was thinking back then and I remember them like it happened yesterday.

So, my bossy sister finally YELLS at me "Laura! LOOK at her!" and she held her up, angled toward the bed. I looked over and saw her giant eyes and cute little face with perfect dimple on her right cheek. Golly. She WAS cute! (I still just needed to get cleaned up before I wanted to hold her, though.) I finally held her and we all marvelled about every wonderful thing about her and all that mushy stuff you can only know or feel with your firstborn child/grandchild. Blah blah blah mooshy mooshy stuff you-know-all-that...

Back to the name thing...
So my mom keeps saying "What's her name? What's her name going to be? What's her naaaaaame?"
I told her the two names I liked and repeated them to see which combo fit.

They didn't!

I panicked for just a second and I remember looking at the clock across from the bed that I'd been staring at for hours and hours, counting the minutes like they meant the world. Why hadn't I been thinking about NAMES during this time?

All of the sudden, the song "They Call the Wind Mariah" came to me so I said:

"Katrina Mariah"

It was beautiful and rolled off the tongue. My sister was so honored that the baby's name would be Katrina and I knew Butch was leaning toward that for a first name anyway. MY middle name is "Maria" so I thought it was a good combination of my sister's name and my name (that I actually LIKED, I had never really liked the name "Laura". It was a boring and sensible name, I thought).

At the time, Mariah Carey had hit one of the peaks of her fame. I didn't like her or her music at ALL so of course I flinched when Butch or someone said "Oh, Mariah like Mariah Carey?"


I said, "NO! 'Mariah' as in Paint Your Wagon and They Call The Wind Mariah" which is a really strange story/musical where Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood actually SING...a LOT. It's so stupid but I watched it every time it was on tv on a Sunday afternoon. My dad would laugh at how those two were these serious tough guy actors who sang in this silly musical. It really is slapsticky but I always loved the power and might of that one song with that old west-y theme behind it. My parents had the record album soundtrack for that musical and I would listen to it on my record player all the time (along with David Allen Coe and a bunch of my mom's old 45s she got when she worked at a drug store in the sixties...another story for another day).

There. That's my story about how a song inspired the naming of one of my children...and HERE is a link to my friend Jim's interpretation of this story mixed with other stories about our other children and how Butch and I met.
(You can view the video of the song I'm talking about at the end of his post)

I will be having to figure out another new name for a boy or girl around June 7th, 2012. "Surpriiiiiise!" if you aren't on facebook. :)