Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Aftermath.

When I lived in India, I got hit by a motorcycle. I fractured my left tibial plateau (my knee), suffered some pretty serious bruising to both legs and knocked my head. This more or less relegated me to bed in the early days and left me with a face showcasing evolving hues of green, purple and yellow. Wanting to spare my parents a Skype experience that would cause them shock, I waited about two weeks to share the crazy news. That didn't go over very well.

Krist hanging at Best Buns.
This time, I knew better than to wait and, despite the fact that I knew they’d be up the rest of the night, called them around 3 am yesterday, July 2, to announce the birth of their grandson – on my mom’s birthday, no less (that one drew some tears.) We didn't talk for too long, but I’m pretty sure they packed their bags in the wee hours of the morning, loaded the car and waited by the phone until I called them again later that day. They decided to leave Cincinnati that night, spend the night in Pennsylvania, and arrive in DC by the early afternoon. My two sisters weren't far behind, and we were so relieved to see them all. :) Having the whole crew arrive just days after the birth wasn't in the original plan, but then again, what part of this was? We were so happy to have them come.

(Unsurprisingly, I thought to take ZERO photos of them while they were here; besides the fact that I'm terrible at remembering I own a camera, I was of course in a foggy state of mind.)

Meanwhile, we needed a name. Everyone would ask for his name, then appear surprised when we told them we were still working on that. Folks! We thought we had four more months to mull this one over. We were informed that if we didn't pick one ASAP, it would be “much harder” to file for his social security number and birth certificate.

I hadn't been in any hurry to pick a name until this point. Kraemer's family tends to use names within the family; his nephew is a 5th. Mine, not so much, and I leaned toward not doing so. I’d not accumulated a short list of names over time, as some friends had, and I hadn't even made it to a book or website of baby names, though they’d been suggested to me. In short, we were starting from zero.

I thought I wanted a name that captured one of our heritage, and probably a name with some meaning (I love my name to pieces but I never have a good answer when people ask me what it means.) So when my sister sent us a list of names meaning “strong” and “brave,” and our five-year-old nephew said to his mom, “If he’s Uncle Kwaemer's kid, he’s got to be tough!”, we had a direction to move in. “Calder” is Gaelic (Kraemer has Irish heritage) and means “rocky river / rough waters / stony stream,” and there are several rivers bearing this name in the UK. Besides the obvious reasons why this is appropriate, Kraemer loves the water, particularly rivers, and would live in one if he could. I know someday he’ll take his son to see his namesake.
Alexander Calder

There’s also a famous artist with the name Calder we’d admittedly overlooked until our good family friends the Darlings asked whether this was where we’d found the name, and we then realized we’d loved his exhibit in the National Gallery when we’d seen it months back. Alexander Calder is the originator of the mobile. Again, appropriate, no? We’ll need a neat one for his crib!

Lincoln, well, we just liked it, and as others have pointed out, it pays homage to our home here in DC. I also later figured out that he was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Calder Lincoln Lovelace, welcome to the world!

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