Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in a Name?

Saturday I hunkered down in a chair at the coffee shop and read over half of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I finished the book by the pool yesterday.  This is my third time reading Harper Lee's Southern classic, but the last time I read it I was a freshman in college.  I remembered loving the novel and from that remembered love I picked out (with Sam's approval) the name Atticus for the Butterbean.  Re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird simply reinforced that this is the perfect name for our baby.  Atticus Finch is strong, kind, caring, intelligent, just, and loyal.  I believe in giving my children names to live up to.

For example, Hope is named after a real person.  When I was pregnant the summer before my freshman year of college I had to read a book called Alicia: My Story for an introductory college course.  The story detailed the life of Alicia Appleman-Jurman, a Jewish girl who survived Nazi occupied Poland.  Her entire family was killed in front of her, she starved, was imprisoned, but never gave up hope that there was a purpose for her life.  She survived WWII and spent the post war years (she was 16 at the time) smuggling Jews to Israel and caring for war orphans.  I had spent that summer before college feeling sorry for myself and wondering how I could accomplish the seemingly impossible task of raising a baby by myself.  After reading Alicia's story, I had a renewed appreciation for life, hope, and courage.  I picked the name Alicia Hope for my daughter and I pray that she will always be hardworking, courageous, and kind.

Atticus is a name that, hopefully, will inspire my son to be brave, kind, and just.  At one point in the novel Atticus tells Scout:
"Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

I want my Atticus to persevere in the face of adversity and do what is right despite opposition, roadblocks, or popular opinion.

6 comments:

Andi said...

Oh crap, I'm all teary! I believe in the power of names, too, and I don't think you could've picked better ones for Hope or Atticus.

Grad said...

Butterbean is also what I call my grandson...you must be from the south. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books, and the movie is a favorite as well. I love the names you've selected for your children - and the reasons why you selected them.

likeglass said...

Beautiful.

Eva said...

I LOVE this post, and I agree with you one hundred percent.

Kathleen said...

I recently watched To Kill a Mockingbird again and I love the movie, love the book and it is a good name for any child. I also choose names for my children that I hoped they live up to. Thanks for sharing.

Traci said...

Such a nice post... I can't wait to see Atticus.