Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Called by Name

"But now the Lord Who made you, O Jacob, and He Who made you, O Israel, says, “Do not be afraid. For I have bought you and made you free. I have called you by name. You are Mine!"  Isaiah 43:1

Names are desperately important to me.  I've always taken them very seriously.  Maybe a little too seriously...my favorite childhood stuffed animal went through years of name changes before I finally settled on the very beautiful and very distinctive "Dixie."  We (okay, fine, I) struggled with the perfect name for our Sweet Pea.  She was born in the wee hours of a Tuesday, and didn't officially have a name until Friday.  Many a tear was shed over deciding on a name.  I think my poor husband thought I'd officially lost my mind.

That may have happened again if we'd had a girl, but I breathed a sigh of naming relief when we found out #2 was a boy.  Hubby and I have each had a boy name picked out since we were in high school, and when we put the two names together we decided long ago it was the best name in the whole world: Patrick Wilder.

Our little Wilder (he's going by his middle name, just like his mama!) is named after two very special men.  His first name, Patrick, is after Hubby's much-loved brother, who passed away tragically when Hubby was 16.  Wilder is after my grandfather, my mom's dad.  Wilder is my grandpa's middle name and was his mom's maiden name.  It also happens to by my cousin's middle name.

We liked the sound of Patrick Wilder better than Wilder Patrick, and we wanted him to go by his middle name because it's a throwback to me.  Also, Wilder is a bit unique, so we liked the idea that he could have a more classic first name to use professionally someday if he so chooses someday.  There are lots of W names in my family, so carrying on that tradition was fun for me, too.  (My first name starts with W.)

Finally, I love the name Wilder because I've always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My grandpa is distantly related to her husband, Almanzo Wilder, whom Laura wrote about extensively in her books.  Farmer Boy is all about him, and in The Long Winter she recounts the incredible and dangerous journey he and a friend took to save their town from starvation during a winter of constant blizzards on the prairie.

To me, the name Patrick Wilder carries a lot of significance.  It carries the love and connection of family and tradition, plus all of the character traits of all the good men in both of our families.  When I think of my little boy's name, I think of all the traits I hope for him someday: faith, bravery, honesty, and integrity; being a dreamer, adventurous, hard-working, a good provider, and joyful.

In other words, even though he isn't named after him, I hope he is just like his Daddy, who is an awful lot like my Daddy.

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