Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the Name of the Father

On the second Saturday of our courtship, Manus and I, sitting on two barstools in Norman's Tavern on Miami Beach, named our children. Kathryn Anne was to be the girl's name, honoring Manus' mother (Catherine), my paternal grandmother (Kathryn) and my mother (Margaret Ann). Sure we were probably six Bud Lights into the night when we had this conversation, but I still have the cocktail napkin on which we documented our future children's noms de plume.

On May 16th, 2007 we fulfilled half our promise when our daughter was born. While we only just had our son on August 25th, we've known his name for 6 years.

Michael - Manus' father was Michael Walsh. He died when Manus was only seven. Both Katie and our Michael bear a strong resemblance to Brian, Manus' brother, who is actually Michael Brian and though this could be considered disconcerting to a less secure man, I joke with Manus that at least he can be sure he is related to his children. Manus takes after his mother's side looks-wise and I think Brian looks a lot like his dad, at least based on the pictures I've seen, so its nice to see some Walsh traits passing through our kids.

David - My dad's name is David (and my dad's dad's middle name was David too). I was always a Daddy's Girl. I think I still am. I find it difficult to have the heart-to-hearts with him, so I know that I don't tell him often enough, but I think he is amazing. I'm even having a hard time writing this. I hold his opinion in the highest regard, though he has always worked to make sure I create my own. My grandmother has a black and white photo of my dad as a baby and when I watch Michael sleep, I can see that picture in my mind's eye. I would be thrilled to have my son grow up to be half the generous and compassionate man that my father is.

Cornelius - When Manus said that he wanted to include Cornelius to the baby's ever-growing list of names, I was quick to agree. If we are honoring our fathers with this name, it wouldn't be right to leave it out. Cornelius (Niall) Walsh is Manus' step-father. As he joined the family when Manus was about ten, he didn't have much experience with young children. Until ours came along. Katie has Papa wrapped around her little finger. Picture a big, burly man, farmer by trade, quiet and reserved, lying on the floor with his legs kicking up in the air just to satisfy the whim of a two-year old. And Michael at one day old was certainly the youngest baby his hands had ever held. Michael will soon learn what Manus, Katie and myself already know; that we are so lucky to have Niall in our lives.

I love this picture of Papa Niall and Michael:

With so many names, you'd think we'd have no problem deciding what to call our boy. But I am all about the nicknames. Kathryn Anne is only Kathryn Anne when she is in trouble. The other fifteen minutes of the day she is Katie. And Katie is the perfect name for a little cute, happy girl. So what about Michael? He just isn't a Mike. I don't think he ever will be... But what is he?

Katie calls him "Baby Michael"
Manus plans on him being "Mick" when he is older. (not a racial slur when you ARE Irish)
So I'm thinking "Mickey" is super cute, but it just doesn't roll off my tongue when I look at him.
Little Mick?
Cousin Jenny calls him MDCW pronounced "mid-cue"
How about "Em-Deecee-Dub"?
Or Doctor CW (get the m.d. part...)
So maybe just "Doc"?
Uncle Brian has taken to calling him "Mickey Nail"
I like Mickey Dee...

I even think his greasy head smells like McDonald's fries sometimes.


Debbie said...

I love this post, and all the meaning behind the names of your little ones. So, so special.

It's funny, but we purposefully chose short names for Emma and Jacob so that a nickname could not be formed, but Emma had other ideas...Baby Jacob is "Baby JJ!" We couldn't have come up with something so cute ourselves, and it's kind of sticking already, as G and I catch ourselves every once and a while calling Jacob "Baby JJ."

Leslie said...

You make me cry...I LOVE IT! He will remain Michael David to me- I think its a perfect name. Send more pictures!! Love you.

Clodagh said...

Ah, what a beautiful picture of Michael and Niall, I love it.
I have a radical idea about what to name baby Michael, are you ready, wait for it, how about ....Michael.......???? Cant wait to see you guys in a few weeks, we have the great hardship of going on holiday first!!!

erica said...

I really shouldn't read these things at work...Learning Specialists are not supposed to cry.

I love the name(S) and ALL the meaning behind them. Austin Elouise Maite has become Aussie...NEVER thought of that and still not sure I love it. But it works. She's Aussie.

Love and miss you much!

Colm said...

What about "Cha"?

Congrats on the new hurler in the family!