what’s in a name

A name molds around you.

Each time I have stared into the soft black eyes of one of my new-born children, my tears dropping on their forehead, I feel intensely overwhelmed with love and joy and of course, great responsiblity.  The first of which is a big one.  To give them a name.  One that they can properly roll their shoulders into; dig their soft finger like toes firmly in the place surrounding the letters we give them.  A name.  A name they will become, or a name they already are, it always confuses me.  This time, with the luxury of a home birth, no pressure surrounding the feat, and no time give it anyways, except the black of the night and the blue of the dawn to look down at his pointed chin, his soft blistered lips, and his slender neck and fingers trying to discern.  So a few days have come and gone and finally, to the relief of our sweet, curious friends and family, and for our own sigh of accomplishment as well, we came up with a name fitting to such a treasure for our family.

The night before he was born, while reading to my big boys, up in our bed, the humidity of the night and the exhaustion of the day dripping off my shoulders, I felt the first contractions that clearly stretched around my lower back and into my stomach.  Once you have felt this pain, though it may disappear from your memory completely, when you feel it again it all comes back.  With a slight smile on my face, of what was most clearly in store, I tucked in my boys and headed downstairs.  A bellowing storm passed through tearing out the electricity in our house.  Lee and I sat in the dark, curious of how this labor would progress, curious about this little life inside.

At 3AM I called the midwife, unable to sleep any longer.  I took a shower.  I made a blueberry crostada.  One in which we all indulged in all day long.  One in which I nibbled on through out the next night as well.  One in which I picked the little purple-y, pastel, blue berries, the stars of the show, with my littlest boy safe and sound inside me only the day before.  When the sun came up I went for a walk.  I walked, and I walked, and I walked.  When Lee woke up he joined me.  We circled our house, we took the boys to our neighbors pond searching for green frogs, we made our way up and down the hill, through the pasture, and back around the house, again and again and again.  I couldn’t sit still.  I leaned on their shoulders, my voice growing louder as the sun grew higher.

Once, when coming out of the house, Lee noticed the smallest of creatures sitting on our doorstep;  A small fledgling, a male vireo, whose voice would grow to be one of the prettiest sounds in the summer forest.  It sat contentedly on our porch, not injured whatsoever.  It was clearly a fledgling who had lost its way and needed direction.  So, the four of us built a small nest inside a flower-pot, perched the delicate thing inside the grassy bed, and much to his parents delight, who were chipping all around our heads, wedged the pot in a tree and waited.  Eventually it flew on to a branch, its tiny claws instinctively clasping around it, and was greeted by his parents who urged him to fly on along by their side, which he did.

The day went on, labor was as it is, hard and intimidating and overwhelming.  My midwives, and my boys, and my husband labored right by my side, for what felt like an eternity and yet time was no longer in existence.  And finally, at 7:21 PM we welcomed our son to this world.

We whispered his name behind the dark of a new moon, trying it on for size.  The more we said out loud for the world, the more it seemed to swaddle his shoulders, and seep into his eyes.  He is our treasure, our sunlight, our fledgling, our beautiful song.

Jasper Ray Vireo Lawrence

Welcome to our family

IMG_2675 IMG_2688 IMG_2784 IMG_2777 IMG_2768 IMG_2745 IMG_2812IMG_2761