Naming our Daughter : a twist on tradition

Benjamin and I have taken great time and found so much joy in naming our children and with our Fifth Firecracker, who we found out in July would be a girl, we felt very much the same. The task however felt a bit more daunting this time.

With our patterns, preferences, and intentionality we found that naming this little lady was challenging and even a bit intimidating. We have never not known in our hearts before our babes were born (even with a surprise gender) what we would call them at birth. This time was the exception, right up until just hours before she was born.

We labored over our “abc” pattern that started with Cashel; our love of the Irish tribute to the Duchemin side for the first name; and the nod to where Benjamin grew up with the Kansas Jayhawk middle name theme. (This was taken very seriously with Camper and Corban’s middle name selections).

We love names with shorter options, practice singing it in the birthday song, shout it to hear what it sounds like, write it down, ask the siblings to say it aloud, and give it a trial run in the list of the sibling names. We have come to realize that our ears are drawn to certain syllabic patterns and sounds and ultimately it all lead to a great list of diverse, unique, fabulous names, but nothing finalized.

I’ll start her naming story by saying that the day before her birth, while out on a family hike, Benjamin looked at me and thoroughly surprised me by saying, “I think her name is McGuire.” This was a special name we had on reserve “if by some crazy coincidence she was born on November 28.”

November 28th was the original due date I claimed when I found out I was pregnant. The midwives however dated me a little further behind due on December 3rd so it seemed quite far-fetched that her birthday would land on this special day.

You see our beloved “Auntie Nona,” my mom’s sister; who was like a second mother to me, took Benjamin under her wing from the moment she met him, and shared so much with our community and the world was born on November 28, 1949.

We lost her this past July after living a full life, the last 11 years of which she lived with and battled breast cancer. She and her husband Terence F. McGuire gave us so much and left a legacy we long for our daughter to know and be a part of. Their open mindedness, commitment to learning and growth, and deep understanding of Life and Love will forever be a part of us and now of our sweet daughter’s life.

So when labor started just past midnight on November 28th my heart could only hope. Our daughter born a quick 3 hours later at 3:54 a.m. on Toni McGuire’s 70th birthday, her first one in heaven, will always be her namesake. Meet our daughter, McGuire.

Breaking the “C tradition” wasn’t that hard, in fact it felt perfectly right, with so much special meaning. Plus we love that there is an Irish surname and a castle in Ireland (home of the Maguires) where we will someday take her along with her brothers to the destinations of their names. (Cashel Rock, the town of Camp, Corban Lane, and the Copeland Islands)

Her middle name has been evolving over time and took shape during our fourth pregnancy which was a gender surprise.

Her middle name is Lu-Ele and holds equal significance and meaning. Her middle name connects her to both of her female cousins. My sister and brother-in-law’s daughter Hastings has the middle name Lu, both named for our mother Wendy Lu. Benjamin’s sister and our brother in law have a daughter Olivia Bel. Olivia’s middle name has special significance because it is the initials of her three uncles – Ben, Elliot, and Luke. Like Olivia, the second half of McGuire’s middle name are the initials of her Jacobson aunt and uncles – Emily, Luke, Elliot.

McGuire Lu-Ele unique and special in name and in person.

Our sweet girl we pray you feel the beautiful tribute, connection, and legacy that your name provides, as you grow and become the independent woman you will be. We love you and are dedicated to your growth and loving you unconditionally.

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