Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What's in a Name, Part 2: Our Autumn

We have chosen a name for our baby girl! This posting was written by my husband Nathan, who explains how we went about choosing the perfect name for this little girl that we both already love so much. 
A major part of planning for a family includes selecting names for the next generation.  Choosing names can be a difficult decision that brings disagreement between the parents, and can bring or deny the child of many opportunities.  Often times Megan and I were tempted with more obscure names, or names that reiterate family lines.  I often told Megan that she could choose the girl's name and the boy's name would be left to me.  People who know me know that I am a sucker for tradition, and any boy that may have been would only have one of three first names: James, Charles, or Earl.  Megan only protested slightly to this arrangement, and the point was moot since we discovered we were going to be having a baby girl after two rounds of IVF. 

Once Megan and I found out that we were going to have a baby girl, we started in earnest to find a girl's name.  Megan and I approached this process differently. Megan had been exploring girls names for a while and had a favorite.  I took a different path I listened and reviewed a few name books and rejected some names immediately based off previous experience with the name; as a teacher there are a few non starters. As a more traditional person, trendy, popular names gain little favor with me.  Names that cleared these first two hurdles were put into my slow cooker (brain) and left for awhile until they were brought to a simmer.  While in my slow cooker, names would go into the first process of just being there.  That is, did they, over time, begin to stand out from the other countless names offered from books, friends, and school rosters.  

Once a name had been simmering for a while, I would usually have a few other names to think about at the same time.  I would continue to analyze the name, looking for negatives and positives, and how such a name could affect my future daughter.  Through this process, a few names made it to the end, and one name edged out what was to be my runner up, Josephine. 

I fell in love with the name Autumn.   Let's start with the negative, it maybe too obscure, and its definition means born in Autumn, which my Autumn will not be.  The definition originally kicked the name out of the list of possible names, but over time the name kept coming back to me.  Over time, the name Autumn came to mean much more to me than born in Autumn.

On my nightly walks, I kept thinking about Autumn. I began to think about the season of Autumn.  Once my thoughts began to focus on the name Autumn, I dismissed the first concern that some of my friends had pointed out; the Autumn was too new-age.  Perhaps Autumn is not popular, but I suggest that it is anything but new age, and it certainly isn't trendy.

The term of Autumn is more innate and tied to the basic nature of man than most any other name I can think of.  Autumn is a season, but it is also much more. When I explained my meaning behind the name Autumn, Megan, who originally liked the name, fell in love with it even more.

During human history, man has been tied to the seasons.  In Winter, the masses would huddle together, struggling to survive in the cold harsh conditions, relying mostly on their stores of food.  In Spring, life begins to renew and you work to plant your crop for the future.  In Summer, you tend to your crop and perhaps towards the end of summer, you can start the harvest.  And, in Autumn, as the heat subsides, yet Winter has not arrived, the harvest continues and comes to an end. Autumn is the time you have worked all year for; a time when you sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Autumn On the Hudson River-1860-Jasper Francis Cropsey

Autumn is a time of plenty. The seed that was sown months ago, and tended to for the majority of the year has come to reward the owner many times over.  This is my Autumn.

My  Autumn is my reward.  My reward for the years I worked, the years I went to school, the years I looked for my Mrs. Swanek,  and the for all the years and all the efforts that were given by my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to me and to the future generations.  Everyone who has gone before me in my family worked hard for her, my wife and I struggled to meet her, and there was a time in the Winter when my wife and I were unsure that we would ever see our Autumn.  My wife and I continued to work hard through the winter, tended to the crop in the Spring, and in a few months, our Autumn will arrive.  

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful name with the perfect meaning!

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  2. Beautifully written! And, it's such a gorgeous name!

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    1. Thank you!!! Following your blog now too!

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