Naming the baby


It’s a good thing I’m too old to get pregnant.  I’d name a daughter Montana Jane.  Honest I would. And she’d probably never forgive me.

I don’t know what it is about Montana.  I do know what it is about Jane.  I’ve never met a Jane I didn’t like.  As for Montana, that’s more complicated.  For one thing, I like the sound of it.  Just say “Montana” out loud.

Isn’t that great? Doesn’t it just sound like, “big sky country”?  And doesn’t that  evoke images of clouds, rainbows, and a perfect shade of summer blue?  A kid named  Montana would own a sky full of opportunities.

Of course, she might not see it that way. She might suppose I’d wanted a baby boy.  Or I’d wish  her a life in the rodeo. She might think I’d lost the “name the baby contest” to some newborn in Topeka.

When I was a kid, Grandma told me she’d always wanted twins.  Said they would be Bertrude and Gertrude, and she’d call them Bert and Gert.  I thought  God was kind in that  Grandma never had twins.

Truth is, I think naming a baby is one of the greatest chores we are entrusted with in this life.   How many things do we mortals get to do that outlive us?  Oh, I know, we can plant  the proverbial apple tree.

But How many of us still  live where we planted the apple tree?   I’ve planted trees that, bless their little blossoms, are now growing merrily in some other owner’s yard. Some are many owners removed from the young woman I was when I planted them.

A baby is different.  She’s not going to stay where I plant her; but, by golly, she’d better stay in touch.  And, like it or not, she’s gonna  cart that birth certificate around for the rest of her life. Which is why it’s important to name her right in the first place.

Like I said, God is kind.  I’m too old to have baby. So much for Montana Jane. She’s just the twinkle in this grandma’s eye.  A playmate for Bert and Gert in the summer sky of my imagination…