"Did Grandpa really say you looked like a monkey?" giggled my daughter Serena. My son, Nikolas, chimed in. "Mom, tell us again about the day you were born!"
As we ate our dinner, I laughed, thinking How many times do I have to tell this story?
I started at a scene my children knew by heart. "The nurse walked over to Grandpa and put me in his arms. ?Whoa!? Grandpa exclaimed. ?Are you sure she?s not a monkey? Look at all her hair! It?s coming out of her nose and ears! She has hair all the way down to her eyebrows!?" The kids burst into laughter again, begging to hear the familiar stories of their births.
We were having such a good time, but I wondered what they were really looking for. They knew every detail of their birth stories, and yet they couldn?t wait to hear them again. As I began to tell about my oldest daughter?s birth, I knew there was something deeper happening between my children and me, something I couldn?t put my finger on.
So I started talking. "Noel had trouble entering this world," I began. "She came out backward and couldn?t breathe. We were so scared, but several days later she had recovered. Your father and I decided to name her Noel Grace because she was a celebration?like Christmas?and she was an undeserved gift from God."
Serena piped up, "I?m next!" I went on. "Serena was so quiet. She barely cried when she was born. The doctor laid her in my arms, and she began to make tiny squeaking sounds. Your father looked down and said, ?She sure is serene.? Right then we named you Serena Quae, meaning ?the one who is serene.?"1