Did I mention that I think we finally decided on a name for our dear little soon to arrive daughter?
We have been struggling with what to name her. We struggled the same way when I was pregnant with Henry. A growing list of names, deciding on one finally, and then changing our minds quickly. It is the sort of thing that is not to be taken lightly, this naming of another human being. As with Henry, I just knew that I would know when we had found the right name for our little girl.
It is hard to find names that sound nice with our very long, very Italian and hard to pronounce last name. We like old names, but we don't want to choose something too popular. I always enjoyed having a name that was different. There was only one other Marissa I encountered growing up, and she spelled her name differently and didn't even go to my school. The old names we like are so popular now; I am sure our daughter will have multiple Isabelle's, Ava's, Sophia's and Hannah's in her kindergarten class. We settled on Alice for a little while- I liked the Alice in Wonderland reference, and it sounded so nice with Henry, another name requisite. After a few weeks of sitting with 'Alice' something about it changed. It just didn't sound right somehow. That is when I went back to our very first name we liked- 'Annie.'
1) My favorite doctor in the world is Dr. Annie Williams. She is the person who delivered Henry. She has delivered hundreds and hundreds of babies throughout her career, and yet she acts like each baby is her first. I swear she even had a tear the first time she held Henry. She always has a bright red manicure and is full of the most wonderful and complete seeming joy and gusto, if you will, for life. If this is an example of an Annie, then that sounds good to me.
2) When I was a little kid I was also obsessed with the movie "Annie." I watched it a million times growing up. In the third grade I convinced my mom to let me cut my long brown hair short and get a perm. Both. At the same time. Needless to say, this jump-started the beginning of a painfully long and yucky awkward stage. I would never have pulled off that Annie look unless I had dyed my hair a carrot-ish shade of orange-y red and wore an apple-red dress all of the time. But man did I love that zany orphan.
3) Woody Allen, one of my most favorite directors of all time made 'Annie Hall' one of my most favorite films of all time. I love Annie Hall and all of her endearingly silly quircks.
Still going back and forth between Alice and Annie I had sort of a bizarre experience that clinched the deal. I was down at the city building permit office and met the nicest woman. She was flirting with Henry while I met with the framing/foundation supervisor. When I had to pay for a plan revision, she was the one who helped me. We started chatting about babies and whatnot. She said she had decided not to have any more children after her first was born many, many years ago; but that much later she and her husband became foster parents to a little boy no one wanted. He was a severely autistic child who had basically been left in a room alone, completely feral, by his birth parents. Ignored and unloved, he was six but acted more like a one year old, unable to talk or interact with others. She went on to tell me that the state didn't want to allow her to adopt him because she was a black woman and he was a white child, but eventually the adoption went through because no one else would have him, she fought the system so hard, and he had thrived so much under her care. This story was so moving that it nearly made me cry. I didn't know what else to say to her except she was a great example of how all people should be. She said that he has been her son for seven years now, and that he is able to talk and interact fairly well with others, and that she wouldn't trade him for the world.
As I turned to leave she called out 'oh yeah, what's the name of that baby in your tummy?'. I told her I wasn't sure yet, but we thought 'Annie'. She just looked back at me and smiled and slowly turned her nameplate around on her desk- her name was Annie. She said "See, it was meant to be- you and I were supposed to talk today!" My pregnant hormones kicked in and I started to cry as she came around to hug me. It was wierd, unexplainable, and a tad embarrassing to be crying in the city building office with all of the gruff contractors around. But it felt like it was meant to be in this utterly weird inexplicable way, just the same as Annie feels so, so much to me like she was so completely meant to be...