Choosing A Name - A Birthday Letter

Happy 7th birthday my beautiful first born! What a blessing the universe bestowed upon me when I created the baby of you, and you created the Mother of me. 

Recently I told you a story about how we named you while you were still in my tummy. How we knew you were a boy because I couldn't wait to find out at the ultrasound. Your Daddy wanted it to be a surprise. I promised him that if he supported me in finding out the sex of our first baby, I wouldn't find out until after the birth of any future babies. And so it was with my three births. Knowing and not knowing were equally wonderful.

But you sweet boy, you I knew were a little boy inside of me, with strong kicks and prone to hiccups. You were lulled to sleep when I walked and danced in my belly when I lay down to sleep. And while you grew and slept, kicked and hiccuped, we tried to think of a name.

Choosing a name for a baby is more difficult than you might think. So many names are ruled out. Ex boyfriends, school bullies, musicians, politicians. We made a rule not to include family names, which ruled out many more. But it was your father who ruled out the most, and it was me making the lists of names. He had a relaxed, I'll know it when I hear it attitude. While I had a slight case of panicky first time Mama, envisioning that it would be weeks after your birth that we would settle on a name. 

I looked though books, I looked online, I fell in love with names only to have your Father point out possible nicknames which made me fall out of love with them again. I had given up, wondering if perhaps we would just 'know' when we first saw you. But life has a funny way of doing things, and as it happened we visited friends whose dog had had puppies. They were the most adorable, soft and loving little creatures I had ever seen, and every pregnancy hormone in my body made me want to bring one home with me. Your father was the voice of reason who suggested a baby, and the dog and cat we already owned, might be enough for now. I handed the puppy to him to tempt him, explaining that it would keep our dog company when the baby came and that we could call him Cohen. And although your Dad just laughed at my efforts to smuggle a puppy in to the family, he did ask me about the name in the car on the way home. 

"Cohen, as in Leonard Cohen, the musician", I explained. I'd not even offered it for consideration, as I thought it too would be crossed from the list. But there it was. A name we both fell in love with,. and which we began speaking to you whenever we addressed my bump. 

Our next trick was to find a middle name to go with Cohen, and here we took a cue from one of my earlier lists, a name that held meaning for us as a couple and soon as a family. And so you became Cohen Byron. Had your Father and I not gone on a holiday to Byron Bay in the early days of our dating, we may not have fallen in love. When we married I walked down the beach to your Father, surrounded by just our family, in an intimate ceremony on Belongil Beach, Byron Bay. Afterwards Dolphins swam though the waves and goats hopped along the cliffs beneath the lighthouse as I threw my bouquet off the most easterly point of Australia.

For seven wonderful years you have been Cohen Byron, and for me they have become two of the most beautiful words in the whole world. You have been loved every second, since I first dreamed of you, and will be loved with every breath I have. As you grow in to a man and venture further out in to the world I hope your name will always remind you of your family, of our love, and how once upon a time you were a dancing baby with a Mum and Dad who hoped they were getting it right when they chose your name for you.

My love, always and forever, Mama.

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