It has become very trendy these days to have a gender reveal party. I, for one, was never a fan of learning the gender publicly (which is probably a good thing because BOTH times, I was hoping for a girl, and BOTH times, I was *blessed* to discover I was having a boy). I don’t like being all emotional in public, and learning the gender of the baby is an emotional thing, so I just don’t think I could do it.
When I was pregnant with Jake, we just casually called people on the phone (and announced on Facebook) that we were having a boy, and that was that. But because we had somewhat lost the element of surprise, we decided to wait until he was actually born to reveal his name to everyone–something that drove my mom and my sister nuts to no end. They began with pleading, and then resorted to guilt, intense interrogations tactics, and even trickery to try to get me to confess. But I held out! I didn’t announce that our son would be Jacob James until he was actually born. And it turned out he had a surprise of his own–being born with a head full of red hair when I was certain that my dark hair would be the dominant gene.
This time around, we aren’t as big on surprises. For one thing, it was REALLY difficult to keep the name a secret, especially with my mom and my sister ganging up on me like they did. My 11th graders at school have been bugging me for MONTHS, trying to get me to reveal the name of the new baby. They’ve proven to be even worse (if not more annoying) than my own family, begging me for clues and initials and swearing that they won’t tell a soul (and many of them suggesting their own names for the little guy). You guys, several weeks ago I (unwisely) revealed that the name begins with a “T,” and rather than satisfying them, it only made them fight harder. I’m pretty sure that there is a pool going (with REAL MONEY involved) over whether I’m carrying a Titus or a Tucker or a Tanner.
I realized that with this much pressure, I was bound to crack soon. (And let’s face it, I was also getting tired of one of my students–named Luke–asking me each day how “little Luke DeAngelis” is doing.) So I formulated a plan. I decided that for Mother’s Day, I would give my mother a NAME–the name of her brand new grandson, that is.
I bought my mom a necklace on Etsy. I had it engraved with all four of her grandsons’ names in birth order, including the one who has yet to be born.
I also found this poem online (Our Family Tree) which I really loved. It kind of explained why my mom would have a tree on her necklace–the idea that she is actually the trunk of the tree, and her children and grandchildren, the branches, are extensions of herself. We all mirror her in some way, and she has invested her life into each of us. If I was really good, I would have sat down and tried to pen something myself, but I felt like this poem really said it well.
So while my mom was getting emotional over the sweet words and the unexpected jewelry, she was REALLY caught off guard to read this name at the end of the grandson list:
His legal name will be Theodore, but we plan to call him “Teddy” for short. And of course, once he’s older, he can decide to be a cool guy and go by “Theo” or “Ted” or just plain “Theodore” if he wants. I feel like it’s a pretty versatile name. His middle name is still in the works. We’re thinking with the syllable count of his first and last names, it needs to be something SHORT. 🙂
I loved my mom’s reaction, but the BEST reaction was from my students. I’d been telling them about the Mother’s Day surprise that I had planned in the hopes that if I gave them a “deadline” (May 9th!), they would leave me alone. This tactic didn’t work of course–they even resorted to rapid-fire interrogation and trickery, just like my family–but nevertheless, they were really excited earlier today about the big name reveal. You would have thought that TODAY was the calendar holiday, and not yesterday, with the way they had built it up. They questioned and cajoled me right until the end, because I made them hold out all the way until SIXTH period before revealing the name, but I was shocked by how many students crowded into my room who were NOT in my sixth period class–who had just stopped by to be there for the big moment (at the risk of being tardy to their respective classes). It was kind of ridiculous. And one student insisted that I create a Word document with the name typed out on it, and then reveal it on the big projector screen at the front of the classroom. When I began typing, a nervous thrill went through the crowd. And when I displayed the name on the screen…well, you can watch this (very short!) SnapChat video that one of my students took to hear their reaction:
Baby Teddy heard all of the commotion and gave a wild somersault inside of my belly. He has no idea how many people are rooting for him, already, and waiting anxiously for him to arrive. 🙂
But there still remains one more surprise to be revealed! Will we have another redhead in the family? Stay tuned to find out… 😉