Tuesday, September 09, 2008

So a few people have been wondering: what happened to Finn?!

Let me try to explain...

As many of you know, Gary and I had pretty much settled on the name Finn for the little guy a few months back. Gary was sold but I wasn't 100%. I mean, I liked the name, but for some reason it just didn't seem totally right. I thought it might be a bit too trendy but since we couldn't come up with anything better I just went with it.

Names were hard this time around, mostly because naming our daughter Emmylou made things difficult. See, if Emmylou was a boy, he was going to be named Cash. But now that we have an Emmylou, if we named our boy Cash it would sound like we were raising the Grand Ole' Opry. Same thing for our other top boy names: Will might turn into Willie (Nelson), Henry would turn into Hank (Williams), and Lyle was a 'no' because of Lovett. When Gary suggested Merle and Waylon I think I laughed in his face.

So anyway, a couple of weeks before the birth, the name Miller came to me out of the blue. It fit my criteria: a simple but unique name that sounded a little old-fashioned and went well (I thought) with Emmylou. When I ran it past Gary he loved it and we decided that unless the baby came out looking definitively like a "Finn," he'd be named Miller. Of course that plan was almost derailed when I read in People magazine a week later that Matthew McConaughey's crazy redneck older brother, Rooster, has a son named Miller Lyte. Uggh. Obviously we chose to ignore that fact.

So once he came out, the little guy looked like a Miller to us and that was that. The funny thing, though, is that he didn't totally escape the music connection, and luckily there's a tie with his name to one of my all-time favorites. Emily pointed out the other day that Lucinda Williams' father's name is Miller Williams and that he happens to be a former U.S. Poet Laureate who spoke at Bill Clinton's 1997 inauguration. I checked out some of his poems and thought I'd share one about his seeing his granddaughter on the day of her birth:

A Poem for Emily

Small fact and fingers and farthest one from me,
a hand's width and two generations away,
in this still present I am fifty-three.
You are not yet a full day.

When I am sixty-three, when you are ten,
and you are neither closer nor as far,
your arms will fill with what you know by then,
the arithmetic and love we do and are.

When I by blood and luck am eighty-six
and you are someplace else and thirty-three
believing in sex and god and politics
with children who look not at all like me,

sometime I know you will have read them this
so they will know I love them and say so
and love their mother. Child, whatever is
is always or never was. Long ago,

a day I watched awhile beside your bed,
I wrote this down, a thing that might be kept
awhile, to tell you what I would have said
when you were who knows what and I was dead
which is I stood and loved you while you slept.

From Living on the Sun Face (Louisiana State University Press).

So, that's the story!


Shelly said...

I love the background on the name! And also, the poem--wonderful. Hope you are doing well! xoxo

emily said...

Love that poem - and I think it's an excellent (coincidental) namesake.

emily said...

Also like the new name of the blog!!