Names are important to me. With a name like Summer, I tend to dwell on names more than the average bear...I know how a name can earn you both positive and negative attention. As a result, I skip straight over names that are too common. At the same time, names like Moonbeam and Daffodil aren't appealing either. A person named Summer can't name her child Daffodil. That's just ridiculous.
Luckily, choosing a name for our stillborn daughter, Ellis, was a very easy process.
After batting around names for several hours one evening, Eric decided to turn to his wall of CDs for inspiration. He went through the albums one by one, reading off the names on the spines. We laughed at most, I crinkled my nose at some, and there were a few I deemed worthy enough to give a half-hearted maybe. Baby Miles Davis? Baby Hootie and The Blowfish? Baby Ludwig? Seriously?
Eventually, he called out, "Don Ellis." Don was definitely out, and at first, I crinkled my nose at the idea of Ellis. I was thinking of it as a boy's name, which instantly brought to mind a child with suspenders up to his armpits and a red cowlick. But Ellis as a girl's name? That brought to mind a girl who read poetry, could beat up the boys at recess, and could play guitar all while wearing pink nail polish.
At the time, I had no idea who Don Ellis was, but it made Eric happy to have a name with a connection to a musician he admired. And when I typed the name into Google, I found out that Emily Bronte's pen name had been Ellis Bell, so it had a literary connection as well. Bingo.
A few weeks later, when we found out we were indeed having a baby girl, we decided on the name Ellis almost immediately.
Her middle name, Jane, is one syllable, which I respect in a middle name, and was intended as a girly balance to the gender neutral Ellis. Plus, I just really love the way the two names sound together.
The fact we came upon Ellis Jane so easily and early was a small blessing because when she was born still at 24 weeks, I took some comfort in the fact that she at least had a name. Like I said, names are important.
Madeline Lee's name took longer to settle upon, mainly because I got bogged down in looking at every single baby name under the stars. I also think I resisted the name for so long because although I love it, it seems that every other baby born these days is named Madeline. Of course, most of those babies pronounce it Madel-LYN, which is wrong, and drives me bonkers.
Still, Madeline fits her perfectly. She's just such a little Madeline. Maddie. Maddie Bear. She's a sweet, loving, gentle soul with a flair for the dramatic and a short fuse.
You can read more about Madeline's naming process here, here, and here. Oh, and here. And here...Ok, that's all. I think...
Madeline in the oven, giving her Mumma Bear the finger....whatevs.