FAQ #2


Q: Explain where your children's names came from?

A: First there's this:


Okay so maybe that didn't answer your question entirely but I have written before about Fable's name - why we decided on Fable (Luella is her middle name, after my late grandpa, Lou) - as well as a list of names as front-runners.

The name, Fable is uniquely her own. Or at least, ish. That was important to us. It's also a noun, like Archer. Literary (also, like Archer. See below passage) and strong in character. A "Fable" is a story with a moral. And so is she.



Fable is also the root of fabulous.

And so is she.


As for Archer (his middle name is Sage), he was named after the section On Children in Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.

The Prophet is my spiritual advisor. Always has been since my mother first gave me the book as a child. I have looked to it for wisdom, guidance and inspiration and have purchased dozens of copies for friends in need, and on special occasions. (Its passage on marriage is so wonderful. So confident in its truth.)

But my favorite part of the book has always been the section, On Children. Perhaps because the book was a gift from my mother? Reading its words (especially as a teenager) was like realizing my own freedom and strength of self. Something I wanted for my unborn son:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with his might
that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so he loves also the bow that is stable.
.
GGC

Have a question to ask? Please do so here. I'm slowly compiling a FAQ section for this here blog. Thank you, muchly.

45 comments:

Miss.K | 12:42 AM

I think they are both gorgeous names. "On children" has always been one of my most beloved poems, I had it read by the celebrant at my daughters name day and my favourite book growing up was Rudyard Kilplings short stories and fables. Lovely names for lovely children:)

One of The Guys | 4:12 AM

My kids names are Brayden, Avery and Maya.

I guess we like "Y"s a lot. :)

kdiddy | 4:42 AM

The Prophet is wonderful. The passage on marriage was one of the readings at our wedding and it's so perfect. The passage on death always brings so much peace.

Shannon Drury | 4:50 AM

If more people read "On Children," the world would be a happier, more peaceful place.

Danielle (elleinadspir) | 5:28 AM

Love that passage. I was writing a post for next week for my anniversary and used the passage in marraige. Love, love, love that book. Thanks for posting that today..a great premothers day post.

anika ame | 5:37 AM

my children have names from african/arabic languages. my daughter is assata akili... warrior/bright and smart. my 1st son is dhani malik...thinking man/ king and my 2nd son is rasul nasir... messenger/protector. we chose names that speak intelligence, strength and purpose into existence.

Rachel F | 6:36 AM

The ARCHER sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with his might
that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so he loves also the bow that is FABLE.

Teehee!

laboriousliving | 7:22 AM

That is one of my all time favorite books. The poem you posted, one of my favorites, and something I follow as closely as I can.

Adventures In Babywearing | 9:19 AM

I LOVE the names you've chosen. Both are absolutely perfect. All our kids' names have first and middles with meaning.

Steph

cora d | 9:29 AM

Thanks for your post. We gave our daughter an kinda unusual name, so we get comments on it all the time - Agatha. It's familiar, but not often heard. Years before she was conceived, we settled on this name. I then went on to change my mind several times, but my husband did not. He was resolute. I like Gigli, Eulelia, Medea, all sorts of unspellable, unpronounceable names. So, we settled on Agatha (aka Aggie) because that's what we could agree on.

For a boys name, we had Thurston picked out for years, but once pregnant, my husband nixed it. Grrrr! We found out we were having a girl, so that ended our search.

Another reason we picked Agatha is because it's Greek, like my and my spouse's names (though we are not of Greek descent).

Most people like her name, or say they do, but we did get some negative comments. My mother-in-law said she didn't like Agatha, but was relieved we were going to nickname her Aggie, which she did like. A co-worker said our daughter's beauty makes her name prettier.

Her middle name is Heathre - yes, that's spelled correctly. It's pronounced Heather. She's named after a dear friend who uses the unusual spelling occasionally, so it's very much her.

Sorry to over share! Can you tell I'm newly unemployed and a little bit lonely? Plus, I just love your blogs.

SDMueller | 10:00 AM

Beck Daniel: My mother-in-law's maiden name, and my deceased father

Lucille Marian /"Lulu": My husband's godmother (he always called her "lulu" and my favorite Irish aunt (and now Lulu's godmother.)

We like to keep thing all in the family.

Mrs. Q. | 10:02 AM

Awesome. I always loved that book (which I received as a gift from my dear, great-uncle who was the closest thing I had to a grandfather, and did the job tremendously) and have often given it as a wedding gift.

Martha | 10:31 AM

I'm also mom to an Archer. Mine is five months old! I loved that quote from The Prophet - the section on marriage has been read at two weddings I attended in January. Our inspiration wasn't so spiritual - my husband suggested Archer, as he spent the last 3 year studying the archerfish. I loved it because everyone knows how to spell it but it is a different name. People usually comment "great name"! I love its strength. My son's middle name is his dad's first name - not my first choice, but a family tradition in his family and I respect that. The next son (if we have one) will get my maiden name as a middle name, a tradition in my culture.

You should show your Archer videos of the archerfish on youtube. They are awesome - they spit jets of water at overhanging vegetation to knock down bugs and eat them. They are fast and super smart.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:33 AM

Cool, Martha! Thanks for the tip! Will absolutely show Archer the Archerfish! He's going through a major fish phase right now! Thanks for the tip!

Molly | 10:45 AM

"Fable" is also the root of the term "fabula"--a Russian literary critical term. It means the way things are presented to us (like in a movie told in flashbacks) as opposed to the fictional chronological order they represent. Being a lit crit person, I find this really meaningful--fabula reminds us of the raw way we experience the world, and the art and beauty of that fragmentation. It takes the focus away from some perfect sequence we work to achieve.

Freestyle Mom | 10:52 AM

That passage brought tears to my eyes. I am going to print it on lovely paper and frame it.

Also, I haven't brought myself to comment on your new home yet because the level of jealousy I am experiencing is totally unhealthy. haha, but I am thrilled for you and your family. It is a beautiful space and it is filled with loveliness. I love your decor.

Johnsons Part Deux | 12:06 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnsons Part Deux | 12:08 PM

My husband and I (only having been married 2.5 yrs) don't have any children, but we have already named our unborn babes. We started discussing names when we first got married. With many thoughts and much pondering, we have decided on Cohen (we're aware of the Jewish controversy) and Calvin for boys. We don't have any girl names yet. HOWEVER...my husband does have one quirk that he's really adament about....middle names. Get ready: Calvin Awesome and Cohen Danger. I have, interestingly enough, agreed.

Lauren | 12:49 PM

I was reading through your short list of baby names and thinking, "Wow, I am jealous of these cool names... wish I had read this before I had my baby six months ago!" but then I got to the bottom and read that Dashiell was one of your pics. My son is Dashiell Lane. I'm happy to know that the name that I picked is GGC approved.

Anonymous | 12:54 PM

Do you already have the names of your next kids picked out? I remember you had Fable picked out long before she was born.

Anonymous | 1:15 PM

Yay! Names! My favorite subject of all time.

Our daugther's name is Lux Annabelle. We chose Lux because it means light and that's exactly what she is. She's our light. A few months after she was born I got a tattoo on my arm (very similar to yours) that says "In darkness you are my light". Annabelle is for my Grandma Elle.

Our son's name is Avenue Jem. Avenue is from a poem my brother wrote before he died. There's a line in it that talks about finding your 'Avenue of Happiness'. I wanted to honor my brother in some way without giving my son his actual name. Our son is definitely our Avenue of happiness. Jem is just because we love us some To Kill A Mockingbird.

Love the kid's names. Very unique but very classy.

Mommy Lisa | 1:21 PM

Awesome!

Glenda | 1:24 PM

I love the name Lyric you had for Fable. My daughters first and middle name mean god's grace.

Ray | 1:25 PM

That passsage on children makes me want to cry. It's so beautiful. I love how you put so much thought into Archer & Fable's names. That's so important. And so awesome because you did it with love. <3

Rebecca | 1:35 PM

I love hearing the stories behind unique names. Thanks for sharing!

Love the peeka who book on the couch nearby Fable!

Hef | 2:12 PM

Ugh. Names. I'm pregnant and since we're preparing to move and can't buy anything yet, I resort to obsessing over names. I kind of feel like I dropped the ball with me first. Shhhh.

I really do love this name stuff, though. And your names are positively beyond perfect. I even love your outcasts.

Our boy name is a pretty traditional, but it's a tribute to two very important people. (JosephPatrick) For a girl I wanted to go with Josephine Paisley, but the hubs isn't down. So we're thinking Findley... something.

emily bilbrey | 2:41 PM

lovely! i'd actually never seen the "on children" poem before. just beautiful!

i always love hearing about how people decided upon their kids' names. i remember reading along when you made the initial fable post - and laughing about your argument with hal over having two middle names! (-: my daughter actually does have two middles - gave us a chance to include a family name AND a fun one we just liked. although some people do think it's overboard, i love it!

great post, always love seeing new photos of your awesome kids as they grow (and grow and GROW!)

hope you're settling into the new digs smoothly! hugs!

marzi | 4:50 PM

i'm not sure that i knew archer's middle name was sage! so is my oldest's! of course, his first name is finley, which happened way before the whole "finn" phenomenon. (damn julia roberts!) anyway, great names. i adore them.

Fairly Odd Mother | 6:45 PM

Ohmygosh, such lovely explanations for how you chose your children's names. I am never, ever telling you how we got to my son's. I suddenly feel like a drunk frat boy who has never read a book in my life.

Devon | 6:59 PM

I don't have children myself, however, I grew up with an unusual name. In a sea of Rachels, Sarahs, and Jennys, I was a Devon (like the English county). While many people mispronounce my name, misspell it, or think I am a boy, it also gave me strength and made me memorable. Now as a college student, I am happy with my name because it is who I became.

Anonymous | 5:53 AM

Rebecca~

I could not wait to find out what you were naming your daughter back then...I remember finally finding out and thinking it was so fitting and beautiful. I'm also a huge fan of Kahlil Gibran and think Archer's name is wonderful.

My kids names...

Kaden-Truth: (DS#1) I pushed for Truth as a first name, but was struck down. I call him KT.

Noble Otis: (DS#2) Noble I just think is a kick ass name (for many of the reasons you name in your "front-runners" post), Otis is in honor of Otis Redding.

Twin baby daughters:

Thea-Simone: Thea is in honor of my late Grammie Theadora, and Simone is in honor of Nina Simone.

Nova-Joy (DD#2) Nova means "chases butterflies" in Native American(Hopi). It also means "new" in Latin, so she is our "new joy".

Sallie | 10:41 AM

This topic is so relevant to me right now! I am about to pop out a baby of unknown sex, oh in the next few days I hope, and we still aren't certain about names. This is our second, and it is much harder this time. Middle names are presenting a big problem too. I feel like they should have some sort of familial meaning, but do you waste your dad's name on a middle name when maybe you'll want to use it later for a first name? But, you might not have another boy, so...Oh, it's hard.

Anonymous | 1:13 PM

I saw this on Etsy and thought Fable would look way too adorable in it.

It's too small for my daughter so I can't get it. :(

http://www.etsy.com/listing/31693922/oshkosh-baby-bgosh-vintage-baby-girls?ref=cat2_gallery_6

Chanel | 9:58 PM

I love the names Fable and Archer. I do believe you either help or hinder your kids by giving them lame names. My name is Chanel and I've grown to love my name more and more everyday. Not just because I love fashion but because everytime someone says my name they can't help but smile.

Chula | 11:59 PM

Love you blog and your book, Happy Mother's day Mama

Aibhiline | 4:43 PM

My sister just had triplets today-awesome mother's day present. She named the girl Scarlet Aurora, and the two boys are Atticus Orion and Greyson Phoenix. Her two year old daughter's name is Leora Ivy Patience. They're so good at naming babies, I think I might let her name mine!

Carla | 8:55 PM

Thank you for putting me onto the poem On Children. It is breathtaking & speaks to my heart. It puts to words what motherhood has breathed into me.

As for names, the names of my girlies are simple, girly and kind of found us. I had always sought some cool, meaningful way to name them. But I found the names chose them and luckily I was listening =)

News | 9:00 AM

Requested it from the library and thinking it will be added to my wish list. Thanks for sharing. I'm already inspired and can't wait to get my hands on this book!

The818 | 12:33 PM

That passage has been read by my father at every major occasion throughout my life for as long as I can remember.

Stunning. As are you.

Adriana | 7:51 AM

my son's name is Hendrix and I have blogged extensively about how at first i really didn't think he looked like a Hendrix.I had major name regret. I considered changing his name to River at first. He was so calm and little and I dont know he was sooo a "River"! I'm glad I stuck it out and kept Hendrix because it fits him now.

Sabrina | 12:49 PM

My dad has that poem framed and hung in his bedroom, flanked by two pictures -- one of me with him, and one of him with my sister:)

mercurial mary | 7:34 AM

I first read my father's copy of that book when I was about 10 or so. I own his copy now and it is one of my most cherished books.

Heatte | 9:45 PM

Hubby and I have pretty run-of-the-mill names that were popular in the 80's. Since we both had wanted "unique" names growing up, we had a whale of a time coming up with some outlandish names for both genders. But in the end we found ourselves looking more at what we viewed as versatile. Names that could be trendy now but also professional.
We finally arrived at Jackson Emanuel [Bonus for naming him after people we respected and his initials JEM as a nod to a wonderful book]or Lilith Integra [Because we loved the sound of Lily and Integra was a name Hubby had in mind for years].
I didn't expect to hear so much nagging about it! "Jackson just sounds like a last name!" "Integra's the name of some junky car!" "Aren't you afraid people will be offended by Lilith?" "People are going to make fun of Manuel! ["It's Emanuel...not Manuel," We'd protest] Whatever!" Nobody seemed happy with our choice but us... so eventually we just stopped listening. Jack is due in two short weeks, and within the next few years we'll be trying for Lily.

MOMSICLE VIBE | 8:43 PM

The Prophet is such a treasure. Passages from On Marriage were woven into our vows and ceremony.

Anonymous | 11:03 AM

We have two beautiful girls, Esme Rose is now 6 and our wee Fable is 8 months old. I am so pleased to have found your blog and to read how passionate you are about the name Fable! Our own Fable came to us after 3+ years of ttc, a nearly fatal surgery, many tears and eventually arrived in a hurry en route to the hospital (in a moving car in the passenger seat) the morning after we moved into a new house. We picked her name before her birth and she certainly earned it that day. We are still surprised by how many people really dislike the name ( inlaws mostly) and find it heart breaking when someone says so. I felt it was important to gift her with a meaningful name rather than a safe and popular baby book label. How do you cope with the outspoken critics? And does Fable love her name?