If you have older kids, you’ve heard the phrase ‘nothing good happens after midnight’. Well, the equivalent for parents of newborns is ‘Nothing good happens before 5am’.
We just spent 5 great days with friends in North Carolina. However, during that time Timothy’s sleep pattern went off the rails. He woke up every morning before 5am, and took 30-60 minutes and a lot of attention to go back to sleep. A few days of broken sleep reminded us how lucky we’ve been so far with his nights, and hopefully Rip Van Winkle will return to his normal pattern soon.
Timothy has had a busy month. We enjoyed having our Spanish exchange student, Aina, stay with us for three weeks, then Laura’s college friends came to town, and then my relatives came from France. We had a small, beautiful baptism for Timothy that was celebrated by our friend, Father Tom Hunstiger. Then came a very nice party to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. And then North Carolina. As hectic as this time was for us, during this flurry of activity, Timothy was always like a politician on the 4th of July – always ‘on’, the center of adulation and attention — and was passed from person to person. He did great, but it may also be why our youngest child decided to use vacation to teach us a lesson in the value of a good night’s sleep.
People often ask how Timothy got his name. It begins with the truth that when you have two teenagers and have the gaul to have a baby, the teens believe that they have the right to choose the baby’s name. We are fortunate to have two awesome daughters, but we quickly clarified the decision making process. I said that we’d love to hear their ideas — and when Cat asked, “Is this going to be like when you asked us what color to paint the house and then still painted it green?”, I just nodded quietly.
But adding more cooks to the kitchen extended the decision making time, and by late last July, we were within a month of D-Day, but had no idea what to name the upcoming family member.
Laura had a good idea that we should give him a name that is easy to pronounce. Since many people with Down syndrome have speech difficulties, and we had no idea how high functioning he might be, it seemed wise to choose a name that he could pronounce easily to people. We were told that those letters formed inside the mouth are trickier to mimic and therefore pronounce than those (like the letter ‘B’) spoken visibly with the lips.
And since at that point we had decided not to extend the family to a six pack, this was going to be the last name handed out of this family. So we needed to make it good.
The name discussions resembled the floor of a political convention, and after the lobbying and the side deals were done and the votes had been cast, we had finally agreed on a name – Timothy Robert Brandon Lee.
Timothy – Named for my cousin Timothy and to honor his family. I was named after Timothy’s father, Jack, and I once lived with them in Paris.
Robert – Named for my Dad’s brother, Bob, who was an amazing guy but was tragically killed in WWII at age 19. I researched Bob’s unit, and assembled his letters home into a little book. We’ve visited his grave in Luxemburg, and I wanted to find a way to carry on his name.
Brandon – To honor Laura’s family (her maiden name)
Lee – Our family name
Of course, following the grueling naming convention, I sat down at the dining room table with a glass of water and some Advil, repeated the boy’s name aloud, and it suddenly hit me that our family naming committee had just given the lad the initials spelling the word ‘trouble’ (TRBL). Oops.
Epilogue – In case you didn’t notice, with an extra name and a few goofy letter combinations (‘th’), baby boy does not have the world’s easiest name to pronounce after all. When he asks about it, we look forward to telling him stories about the wonderful people remembered in his name.
And then we’ll let him choose the next color to paint the house.
Proud to honor our family members,