Thursday, June 28, 2012

how emerson winter got her name

Alex and I added the names Emerson and Winter to our baby name list two years ago, before we were even married, in the days of cuddling on the couch for hours, daydreaming about our future. Emerson was actually one of the very first names we ever discussed, and after considering several hundred others we came back to it. Given we are both writers, and very concerned with meaning, our first thought was to come up with a name related to a body of ideas we have both felt inspired by. HD Thoreau was at the top of that list, but we thought Thoreau was a little much for a name. But, Alex and I have equally bonded over Thoreau's boy, Ralph Waldo Emerson. I vividly remember rereading Self Reliance in my cubicle in California in order to rev up my transcendentalist passion to later discuss my ideas with my then-long distance boyfriend (now-husband)—yes, we are nerds like that. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson's association with liberal thinking, individualism and a love of nature is what drew us in to not only his writing, but to each other. Alex and I share many of the same qualities that we adore in one another, and that we value in general. And the name Emerson was even more fitting given the place we conceived our baby girl:

In the quiet of a deserted forest, on an uninhabited island in the Adirondack mountains, a sweet little life began to grow. She was an earth baby, meant for this earth mama. She was deep, and pensive, and had a mind of her own. She is our Emerson.

During the last week of my pregnancy, a quote from the late RW Emerson kept me company (and is equally applicable to my journey through conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and now parenthood!): "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

The origin of the name "Winter" is a little less deep, but still meaningful (to us). The Winter season is a nostalgic time for Alex and I since we had our first date in the winter. Alex drove two hours in a snow storm to come pick me up for that first date. I stood in the middle of the dark road, snow falling around me, a faint glow from the street light, my bright orange jacket acting as a beacon calling Alex toward me. Oh, nostalgia. Alex and I fell in love that same winter, and were engaged the following winter. And so the name. 

Originally, I really loved the name Winter as a first name, but I could not get past the fact that people were bound to nickname her "Winnie." I'm just not a fan of "Winnie." But, as much as I wanted to name my baby Winter, I know that could not have been her name. She's clearly an Emerson, and was to me from 20 weeks of pregnancy on. 

My wishes for you, sweet baby Emerson:

Inspirational Quote Mountain Landscape
Emerson Quote Magnet
Emerson Quote on Reclaimed Plywood


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