I feel like I need to blow cobwebs off this space or something. I’m still here, just slowly adjusting to life with a newborn and our new normal as a family of four. I have had a few people ask the inspiration behind Ella’s name, so I thought I’d start back into regular blogging with that.
Choosing a name is a huge responsibility. After all, this is the name your child will have their entire life, and it’s got to fit them, your family, and be a name you enjoy saying (because let’s face it, with kids you say their names all the time.) Everyone has different requirements in choosing a name, and for me one of the most important things in naming both my girls was naming them after someone. Some of you may know that I’m Jewish, and my heritage is specifically Ashkenazi Jewish, meaning my family comes from Eastern European Jews. One of the most common things we do in naming children is naming them after deceased relatives. While some people choose to use a relative’s full name, my family typically uses the first letter of their name – which is exactly what we did with Abbie and Ella.
Growing up, I was always incredibly close to my mom’s parents, and my grandfather especially. My grandfather passed away the month before I turned 12. My youngest sister and one of my cousins are named for him, but I always knew my first child would be too – and that’s exactly what happened. My grandfather was Abe (pronounced A-B), and the decision to use the name Abigail was a no-brainer. We added Ann as her middle name to honor my mother-in-law, and it’s been amazing to have a little piece of my grandfather in my life every day.
My grandmother passed away in 2012, the same day we miscarried our first baby. When we named Abbie for my grandpa, I wanted to name our second child for my grandma, Edith. Chris and I had a really hard time agreeing on a name for the longest time. Having an E name was really important to me, and if we would have had a boy I’m not sure we would have ever agreed – boy names that start with E are hard! Ella was on our girl name list for a while, but we couldn’t come up with a middle name until the day Chris and I both came home with the middle name Jane, for his grandmother. From that moment, we knew our second daughter would be Ella Jane, to honor two of her great-grandmothers.
I love the tradition of naming after relatives, and I love more so that when I look at my two girls, I see a little bit of my grandparents in them. Naming my girls after their great-grandparents has been an amazing way to keep their memory front and center in my days, in all the best ways.