How we chose a name that peaked in the 1930's
Naming babies is hard work! Before we even got married (honestly, I don't think we were even engaged yet!), we had picked out Jack's name. While I was pregnant with him, we wavered slightly on his name, but, obviously, ended up going with Jack Nolan. And we absolutely love Jack's name. He is named for C. S. Lewis--how can it get any better than that?
So choosing a second boy name was actually really hard. Jack's name just meant so much to me, and we both just loved it so much. We played around with a lot of other names for Gil, but they either didn't really mean anything to me (I really want all of my kids to have literary names) or they were getting really popular.
This past fall, Bech and I spent almost the entire weekend in the car (sans Jack for most of the way) driving to Asheville and back. We got lots of talking time in. We started talking about names for future babies, and I threw out the name Gilbert, thinking Bech would veto it at once. He, surprisingly, loved it, and we almost immediately started thinking of Gilbert as our first choice for our next boy name.
I love Gilbert for a couple of reasons.
First, Gilbert is named after G. K. Chesterton (Gilbert Keith).
Chesterton was a big influence on Lewis. He wrote fiction and non-fiction, both of which are amazing. My favorite (and the first of his I read) book is Orthodoxy. If you have never read this, I strongly encourage you to do so, and soon! Orthodoxy was and continues to be one of the strongest influences on my faith.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
One of my favorite Chesterton quotes!
If I have a child named for Lewis, it is only fitting that I must also have a child named for Chesterton.
Second, Gilbert is my own little Gilbert Blythe.
Only kindred spirits will truly understand my love for Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables). I was obsessed with the books as a child, even to the point of making my mother call me Anne (with an "e," of course!). I reread the books every two or so years. I adore Anne Shirley. And I have always loved Gilbert.
I'd much rather Gil favor this Gilbert than Mr. Chesterton, at least in looks!
Those are my reasons for loving the name Gilbert. Bech also loves that there is a famous jazz musician named Gil Evans.
Blaise is my mother's name and my grandparents last name (duh, I know). I really wanted to name this boy after my grandfather, Robert Earl Blaise. But Gilbert Robert is a little too "bert"-y, so we went with Blaise.
I have an incredible grandfather whom I absolutely adore. He is funny and loving and an amazing man. I love that Gil has part of my Papa's name.
I also love that both Gil and Jack have Bech and my mothers' maiden names (Nolan is Bech's mom's maiden name). There is something very quintessentially southern about that!
And, of course, we need a picture of our Gil to wrap this up. This is Gil on his first Sunday at church!
I hope that our sweet Gil has the imagination and intelligence of Chesterton, is as sweet and self sacrificing as Gilbert Blythe, and loves Christ as much as my Papa!