J is for {Jonah}

Jonah

If you haven’t been pregnant, I feel like there is a time when you really start to think – What am I going to name this tiny human for the rest of their life?

When thinking of boy and girl names I had a couple things I wanted to keep in mind.

1. I didn’t want to pick a name with some crazy spelling or pronounciation. I feel like being a teacher, I have seen so many kids be upset or feel bad that other students or even myself spell their name wrong or say it wrong. Your name follows you everywhere and I just thought – if I was to name my kid Ashley, that I wouldn’t spell it Ashleigh. (Sorry to all Ashley/Ashleigh’s your name just popped in my head).

2. Second of all, I wanted a name that sounded strong to me. And (to me) a strong name came from the bible.

3. Lastly, if it was a girl – her middle name was to be Rae. After my mom’s middle name. She is the strongest person I know. And to all of you who think I’m strong, you should really talk to my mom first. If it was a boy – his middle name was to be Melvin. After my grandfather Melvin Reicks and Drew’s grandfather Melvin Johnson. They both have passed and we wanted to honor some of the greatest men we knew in our lives.

Side note – who knew Jonah’s grandfathers would get to rock him before I did.

So these were my deal breakers and of course Drew’s too. I swear when you become pregnant and don’t have baby names picked out, you listen to names much more closely: books, tv, magazines, facebook and in daily conversations with people.

I had a running list on my phone of names that I would hear throughout the day and type into my phone so I wouldn’t forget to tell Drew when I came home.

Right away, we had a girls name picked out, but could never agree on a boy’s name. I’d like one name and he’d like another and we just couldn’t find the right name.

One day I was at school and reading with one of my students. I sat down to listen to her read when she was halfway through the book. As I sat down, I recognized the story and I heard the name, “Jonah” ring out of this little girl’s mouth and at that moment I knew I had a good one to tell Drew when I got home that night.

Subconsciously, that was the moment we knew that was his name. Although we didn’t tell family and friends – it was then. Since we decided on the name Jonah, I started finding out that I wanted a ‘nautical themed nursery.’ Because that’s what you do when you think nothing bad can happen to you. You make a big deal out of the kind of pictures you’ll hang in your ‘nautical themed’ room and the kinds of sheets the crib will have. You have no concept that things could go terribly wrong.

But his name means so much to me. When I hear people say his name, it is an acknowledgement that his life was lived and that although short – it was still profound.

Lately, I have been hearing Jonah’s name in random things. The last month I watched Sleepless in Seattle where the little boy’s name is Jonah and I watched The Last Song where the little boy’s name is Jonah too. I was also watching the Today Show or some show other show like that and Jonah Hill was on speaking about his career. A friend also sent me the link to the play Jonah by Sight & Sound Theater in Missouri. Then, last night I saw The Story of Jonah on Veggie Tales.

Of course, I watched it. It made me cry.

It’s just so strange that I hear his name around me like that. Maybe my ears are just so open to his name and I pick up on it more, but I feel like Jonah isn’t a very common name.

I will forever have a son named, Jonah. And I will always smile when I hear his name. Everyday I look down at his name permanetly placed on my arm and I think of my sweet boy and the better place his is in. I know I would have given up my life to give him a beautiful life here on earth – but that’s what you do when you love someone entirely.

That’s what a mom does.

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