Friday, November 26, 2010

the best laid plans

you know how it goes. i had some ideas about what i'd blog about when i finally got around to it, a grand scheme for a photojournalistic-style post about what i've been doing these months i've been absent. today was to be the day. the day after thanksgiving, luke and sam off running around doing who-knows-what sport, trying to burn off the stir craziness that comes with a day off from school. after hosting the big meal last night, i was promised this day off to catch up on photo editing and writing and to reinvent this space. things conspire, don't they, to set awry those best laid plans? as my ancient desktop computer--which hasn't been turned on in a month, probably--seems to be suffering from the lingering tryptophan in the air, the photos just aren't happening today despite the hour i've already spent just to download them from my memory card. another day...


for today, though, i do have a story. i want to tell you about a little girl with whom i have fallen in love.

her name is anastasia. i haven't ever met her. (have you never fallen in love with someone you've never met?) so i can't tell you what she looks like, really, since i don't know. what color her hair is, what color her eyes are, whether she's chubby or skinny--i don't know. i don't know much about her personality, either, whether she's funny or spunky or shy or precocious or mischievious. i don't know her favorite color (but mustn't it be purple or pink, like most every little girl?) or her favorite animal or what she likes to eat or what she likes to play.

how do you fall in love with a stranger? well, this little girl is hardly a stranger to me. i do have a couple of photographs of her, of which this is the best, i think:

here's hoping my computer is feeling up to the task of sharing lots more pictures sometime around st. patrick's day.


there's a story, of course. isn't there always? (here's the backstory, in case you haven't read it or heard it before, to the saga that is baby-naming for sam and me.) what i didn't relate in that post, but which those of you have known me for a while already know, is that not only can't sam and i agree on names, but we also can't agree on when to agree on a name. sam has a thing about waiting until the baby has already arrived. suffice it to say i don't have that same thing.

ahem. to the story.

since our in-utero moniker for our previous children, zeph, had died along with the baby whose ex-utero name we would never know, we needed a new nickname immediately for our newest addition once we found out about his/her existence. it so happened that we started this conversation one evening after having hosted a high school bible study in which the mysterious character of melchizedek showed up. so there it was, of course: melchizidek, or mel for short, since we didn't yet know whether we were having a boy or a girl.

meanwhile, nearly two years ago (!), not long after eliza died, sam had a dream that we had another baby girl. her name was anastasia. (he'll tell you he doesn't remember this dream, mind you, but he's very glad i do.) it seemed an appropriate dream for a greek-speaking father who had just lost his daughter, as the name anastasia comes from the greek word for "resurrection." and anastasia was a name we had considered for eliza but had scrapped since we didn't really like any of the nicknames associated with it.

a couple of months ago, then, when we found out this baby was a girl--having gladly called our baby mel in order to stall until the ultrasound to even begin the doomed-to-be-difficult conversation of finding a name for our newest addition--i made a passing joke about how we could just skip the name books altogether and name the baby anastasia. sam replied astonishingly in the affirmative: you don't ignore a vision like that (even one you don't remember). yes. she is anastasia.

i waited a week or so, certain he would have had second thoughts or another idea, and then asked him whether he was ready to start pulling out the name books.

oh, no. i've already been telling people: she's anastasia.

and so it was done. at 18 weeks gestation, our little girl had a name. our little person--a person's a person, no matter how small--was no longer mel.


but luke, my first tiny love, has to show up in this naming story, too, of course:

luke came with us to the ultrasound during which we found out the baby was a girl. he was absolutely mesmerized by all that he got to see--a tiny beating heart, tiny kidneys, tiny perfect spine. when the sonographer announced that the baby was a girl, as you can imagine (and which is a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day), sam and i had some difficult mixed reactions. enter luke to save the moment. his immediate reaction: "well, i guess melchizidek is out, then!" and thank goodness for that.

meanwhile, sam has been insisting that anastasia will not have a nickname. we each have reasons we're not fond of the usual choices: stacy, anna, annie. (a friend told me that anya is a common russian diminutive for anastasia, and i love it. so i'm working on sam.) luke, of course, has overheard all these conversations. recently, he declared to me suddenly, "but she has to have a nickname!" when i inquired as to why, he responded, "i can't even spell anastasia!"

so we rectified that problem.


Patricia Berman said...

I love Anya and have heard it is really spelled Anja.

Leslie Ruth Petree said...

Hooray for Anastasia! I love it.