Melinda was certain that the child was a boy, and Tom had yet to be convinced of her certainty, so two names were needed. The girl's name was easy, as girl's names almost always are. The boy's name was a point of contention for months and months and marked Melinda and Tom's first epic battle. It was one that would live in infamy and the very best of all their epic battles.
Melinda wanted to name a boy Noah. "No, no, no to Noah!" Tom would say.
"But it's from the Bible!" Melinda would plead.
"It's too weird. No, no, no!" Tom would insist.
Tom wanted to name a boy Charlie. "Sorry, Charlie," Melinda would say, rolling her eyes for good measure.
"Charlie's a good guy. Everybody likes Charlie," Tom would wheedle.
"Charlie is a guy who sits around at the garage chewing, spitting and talking about people, in overalls." Melinda would not budge. (and Melinda freely admits she likes guys named Charlie, and means no offense, but this was her first child and come on, really.)
They went to see a movie one day called Parenthood. There was a little girl in this movie, and you never heard her name until almost the end of it. "Come here, Taylor, you're ears are ready", said Mary Steenburgen, and Melinda and Tom looked at each other and light bulbs came on over their heads.
"Taylor"..........they rolled it around for only about 20 minutes, noting that 'Taylor' could be a boy or a girl. Also, in the year 1989, they knew no one with this name, so it came with absolutely no preconceived notions. (Sadly, this would change very quickly. Parenthood was a big hit and it spawned Taylor's of both sexes in proliferation, and to date you cannot be in a crowd of 20 people without at least one Taylor. So much for a unique name, but them's the breaks).
And so the epic battle ended, and peace reigned throughout the land for a time. The battle had ended, but the story remained, and was told and re-told down throughout their lives, with wry humor and grudging respect. You can say a lot of things about both Tom and Melinda, but you will probably not ever hear anyone say either one of the them are weak.
The years passed and one day Taylor met a girl named Mardi. There was a special light around the new couple, and Melinda was certain they were going to have a baby, but Tom was still yet to be convinced of her certainty. So she just waited. She had years of practice and had perfected the keeping her mouth shut part. :D
Sure enough, within 2 months of Melinda's making the statement, Taylor and Mardi announced coming of THE FIRST GRANDCHILD. This was it! There was laughter and tears, at the same time, and rejoicing all around. The story of naming Taylor was told for Mardi, who had not heard it before. Everyone settled in to wait and see what would happen next.
What happened next was finding out it was a girl. More rejoicing though out the land, with lots of shopping for hats and tiny little bonnets and well.........everything.
The day came when a decision had been made to name our baby girl. We all waited with hope and not a little trepidation, because you know how crazy names have gotten. Kids these days.......etc. But whatever name they picked, I had resolved to love. What's in a name? I would comfort myself with this phrase, knowing that once I saw that baby, the name would come to seem the most natural thing in the world. Whatever they called this girl, I was going to love her more than anything. I already did! We all braced ourselves.
Taylor said, "Well, you know the story of when you and Dad were going to name me Charlie........." and my heart burst with love and pride. We may not have stayed married, but we kept the narrative of being parents, and a family, unbroken through thick and thin, to emerge dirty and battle-worn, but unbroken and victorious in the end.
We all said yeah......
"Well", and Taylor and Mardi are looking at each other with love and complete confidence and joy, excited to be revealing this secret, "Mardi loved that story so much, and we wouldn't use it for a boy" this with his eyes directed at me, "but we absolutely love it for a girl. So we pretty much decided that day on the way home that if it was a girl, we would call her Charli". This was met with joy and laughter. "And the whole name is......" We all stilled and waited,
"Charlotte Marie Clark. Charlotte so we can call her Charli, and Marie for Mardi's grandmother."
And the family rejoiced, in relief and anticipation, for now our girl had a name. A name unique, for personal reasons that could never be replicated. A name that honored both sides of this new family. A traditional and dignified name.
A family name, one that had endured for 24 years even though no person had carried it. Melinda and Tom's first epic battle had served as a touching stone and waited until just the right time to be bestowed upon the child of the child that they were merely speculating on all those years ago. The child they decided to name in a dark movie theater in the middle of a normal afternoon after months of fighting about it.
Things have a way of working out. You should always choose to have faith, because faith is a choice. Also, you should keep in mind that these things take time. Not all of them take 24 years, it is true, but you never know the "when" until it happens, as it surely will. When it does, it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Do not sell it short, ever. Take it from one who knows. Wink wink!
And in the end, Tom got his Charli, and no one was happier about that than Melinda. Once again, peace reigned throughout the land. A land that would never be the same without their Charli girl.