I thought maybe when my first son came there would be a person, an adult maybe or even just a voice that would instruct me with how I was to call him. The way God instructed Adam. There would be a command: “Here he is, this is what you are to call him.” With the same authority that I now name the world for him: “Call this rain. Call that thunder. That is sound. This is called wet.” But when I delivered him, and he came so fast from inside me, no one told me his name. No one said: “This is your child, call him this way.” Instead, Thom and I looked at each other and then at him and then Thom was brave and said “Ives.” and I said “Ok” and then he was named.
And Virgina Wolf wrote in St Ives and there was a man named St Ives was a lawyer who was kind and so we called him that until we forgot it was our choice and felt instead that there had been a voice directing us. You shall call him Ives. And then there was a second boy and again no voice, but again Thom was brave and said “John” because of Thom’s grandpa whom Thom loved and who died the day he met Ives (the oldest son of his oldest son’s oldest son), and I said “John Gilbert” because I liked the sound of the name Gilbert and because of G.K. Chesterton. And so we called him Gilbert and Ives called him Gilbert and in french we called him JillBear which felt nice, because he reminded us as of a baby bear. A koala bear soft and sitting and playing with his toes.
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