Bo in stars, Rev in spots
The names. THE NAMES! The names. I've been meaning to write about Bo & Rev's names for some time but felt daunted by the task. It took me three months after Fable's birth to finally
explain blog about her name for the same reason I've been putting off this post: I feel like I spend half my day explaining to strangers what and who and how and why we chose their names. As previously mentioned, Boheme and Reverie's names were the only names Hal and I agreed on after sorting through many, many (manymanymany) options. Here is what they mean and how we came to them.
Reverie: (n) daydream
Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Reverie: It all started with a song. And a painting. But first, there was a song.
Reverie by: Claude Debussy is Hal's favorite song and when we first got together he would play it for me on the piano. (Aw.) It was also the last song on the first mix tape he ever made for me and became in a way, "ours". So? When after three months of dating Hal, I painted him a painting as an "I love you" gift I included the first three scales of the song and wrote out its name in a cloud above "our" heads. I was pregnant at the time but didn't know it yet and wouldn't for another two weeks.
True, it's incredibly cheesy and "painter" I am not, but it was meaningful at the time and was made a thousand times more meaningful when I found out I was pregnant. It was one of the many signs that pointed to "keep this pregnancy, kids." I mean, Jeez Louise! I painted a picture of "Hal" coming out of my belly days after conceiving Archer. Clearly my subconscious inner-wannabee-artist was looking to make some babies at some point. And no I can't explain why Hal looks like an understudy for Blue Man Group. That was just me trying to be artist-y. (ED: Perhaps Archer gets some of his pregnancy premonition from me? Maybe?)
Anyway. After the fog of "wtf" wore off, Hal and I agreed that if we were pregnant with a girl, we would give her the middle name "Reverie". After the song. And the meaning. And the painting. But we weren't pregnant with a girl. We were pregnant with Archer, our incredibly perfect son.
When Hal recommended we name one of the twins Reverie it made sense in a full-circle kind of way. (See also: Revere as one of our boy names). Much like Archer was our surprise, so would be Reverie... theoretically unplanned as wonderful usually is. (We knew we wanted a third someday but never thought in a million years we'd have a fourth.)
We decided that "Reverie" would be our last born, our "Twin B". UNLESS, when we met the babies we thought otherwise. That, of course, was not the case. When we first saw the girls, Reverie was clearly Reverie and Boheme was clearly Boheme. Reverie even looked like Archer with his same curious, wide-eyed way. (The other day Archer explained to me that "Reverie talks to him with her eyes." I think I know what he means.)
Reverie is our zen baby. She is exactly as ner name suggests, wide-eyed and dreamy, her face full of light. She is as easy as they come. Serene and quiet, delicate - like the Debussy song she was named after. A dream. I don't even believe she's real half the time. She's more doll than human, blinking away in her bouncy chair, happily alive.
...Which brings me to Boheme (Bo-Em):
Boheme: (re: Bohemian) Gypsy; a person, as an artist or writer who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.
Just as Reverie had meaning to us for sentimental reasons, Boheme was a name decided well before I ever got pregnant. It was the first of the two names we set in stone. It was an idea I pulled from the sky after toying with the name "Gypsy"... A bit much and on the nose but the sentiment interested me. That and my Hungarian great-grandmother Frances whose parents were gypsies and who always fascinated me. When I read the following passage by Gelett Burgess, I was sold. If I ever had another daughter, I thought, I wanted to name her Boheme.
"To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind... It is a light and graceful philosophy, but it is the Gospel of the Moment... What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life!"- Gelett Burgess
Where Reverie is our sweet solo-melody, Bo is our OPERA! She is strong and mighty and ROARS! She ARRIVES, our feisty little fire-cracker. Loving and attached, she is, with eyes that connect and refuse to let go. She is more intense than any child I've ever met. She is dramatic! (And perhaps a little colicky.) Intense and beautiful and strong! As demanding as her sister is acquiescent. Even now as I type this post with my right hand I'm rocking a (finally!) sleeping Bo in my left, her little hand clinging to my ponytail.
People tend to think we named her after Puccini's La Bohème which isn't the case. But it is a lovely opera and I love that their musical associations unite them in a way.
We chose Shalom (Peace, completeness) and Lux (light, unit of illumination) as middle names because "peace & light" are partners. Because Shalom is the soft to Boheme's strength and Lux the strength to Reverie's soft. Archer and Fable's names also balance strength with softness. Archer and Sage, Fable and Luella (Luella means "girl warrior"). Archer and Bo share middle initial, "S" and Reverie and Fable share an "L".
Boheme can go by Bo or Em or Bowie for short. (I recently started calling her "Boa" based on her ability to constrict my finger every time I hold her.) Reverie can go by Rev(e) or Revi, Eve, Rie, and Evie. I actually planned on calling Reverie "Eve" for short until I saw her and thought, "Rev". Such a reve.
"Bo Rev" (Beaux Rêves, a la Fais de Beaux Rêves) means "sweet dreams" in French, something we put together long after their names had already been selected. A sign, we thought that their names belonged to them and that they belonged to each other. Sweet + Dream =
Much like with Archer and Fable, we chose our babies' names after things that bring us joy, people that inspire us, words that hold sentimental value, literary references, moments in time, philosophies, ideas. Our hope is that our children will grow to love their names as much as we do, that their monikers will suit their spirits or at the very least, support them in their quest to dream fully and live freely, with peace in their hearts and light in their pockets, amen.