We kept Tennessee’s name a secret throughout our pregnancy because, we learned with Scout that a name is something sacred and beautiful and thought through by parents that sometimes, when shared with misunderstanding ears, can be mistaken for an opportunity to share an opinion or observation on a name. Like…I’m sorry cashier at the thrift store, you aren’t going to sway me from naming my daughter. But thanks for your input and putting me in a bad mood. It happened a few times with Scout, and Tennessee was such a precious name to us, we weren’t going to risk having the excitement of her sweet title poked and prodded at, so we kept it to ourselves.
We held the name with delicate hands, and it’s almost a prophetic statement to her delicate character we’ve gotten to know this past month. Many people have asked the hows and whys behind our Sweet T’s name, and I figure her one month birthday is as good a day as any to share it.
Scout, according to the dictionary, means “The First Explorer,” and we’ve seen her live up to that name more and more as she becomes a little-toddler-lady. I’ve tried everything to get her to follow me. Bribery, pretending I’m leaving (which I hate), dangling treats…but she always finds a way to run about a yard or two ahead of me, right up to strangers, and offer her hellos-today it was to a sweet elderly couple. It made their day-what a testament to the lady she’s becoming.
We saw the meaning behind Scout’s name, along with our prayers for fearlessness, come into fruition early on, and we wanted the same thing for our second daughter-just with her own characteristics and strengths and little perks that evolve over time.
For us, Tennessee (the state) has always held this sacred fantasy of slow living and fine music. Will and I have a relationship that really started with a foundation of Jesus (of course) and music (ok…and Friday Night Lights but…different story different day). Our favorite musicians are all from Tennessee, our first concert together was sweet sweet Ellie and Drew, and they also sang our first dance song (not live obviously but that would have been a dream). From the time we were married, we talked about the dream of venturing out to the land of floating leaves and old buildings and changing seasons. We knew it was a distant dream because of our life’s circumstances, but it was very real dream nonetheless.
As we’ve grown into our second year of marriage, and out of the newlywed phase, we look back at pictures of our engagement and laugh at how young we look. We may still be young, in marriage and in years, but we’ve experienced a lot that has aged us, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. But we think this is what makes our marriage beautiful. We carry some old souls within these young bodies, and we want the same for our Tennessee. That the wisdom and experience she faces from even the earliest of days gives her a spirit of wisdom and depth that can only replicate the beauty of the architecture you see walking around Franklin in fall.
Wisdom, depth, new life that comes with seasons that we Californians will never fully understand-Tennessee carries these in her name. The slowness and simplicity of life and love that we hear of in songs about Tennessee (the state) give us a feeling of home, even from miles and miles away. So while Scout may be our adventurer, T may be our homecoming. Because both are beautiful, and we need both to grow and be sustained, and our prayer is that these sisters will balance each other out with their own stories and experiences, and that T keeps her safe, Scout keeps her wild.
In one month we’ve experienced:
T is obviously the runt of five. She’s precious and delicate and sweet…until you mess with her (as in her position if she’s sleeping, or set her down when she’s being held). She may be tiny, but she is fierce with her lungs. That’s something new for us.
She’s a cuddle bug who wants to be held and close to me at all times. Again, very new. But I’m not complaining.
She likes to wear neutral colors (ok ok she doesn’t have a choice but they so fit her personality).
Singing “Tennessee” by Drew and Ellie Holcomb immediately calms her.
She also barfed all over me today. Happy One Month to me!