Wednesday, April 11, 2018

People see what they see

Sammi looks so much like her sister did as a baby that I sometimes call her by the wrong name.

It's sort of funny though, how people see what they want to see.  My parents are gaga over her and visit about once a month from NYC.

"She's beautiful, and looks like you," said my Mom.

"Well, you know that really isn't possible," I had to remind her.  Also, this baby is a strawberry blond cherub, something I am decidedly not.  She has giant blue-gray eyes, although her sister did too, until around 6 months old.

"I don't know, you carried her for nine months, you had to influence something in there.  She's pretty, like you."

Okay Mom, if you insist.  Really I am just a vessel for my husband's babies, and I'm completely on board with that.  They're cute as hell.

Niblet's dance abilities are starting to really become apparent, and I say this not as her mom, but as a former ballet teacher.  She's taking three ballet classes a week (kind of a heavy load for a nine year old).  One of them is with older kids, it's called a "push" class that's only offered to one or two kids who are ready to be challenged.

Sure, I had some dance talent.  My Mom did too.  But where did the nature end and the nurture begin?  Without my exposing her to dance (she was into soccer until she saw me take a class one day), without my driving her to classes downtown every other day, without my ability to afford to pay for her instruction, and without her ability to do well in school and get her homework done (our pact), it would all be sort of moot.  The same held true for my parents and me, by the way.   Is something wired in our DNA?  Or were a myriad of environmental factors at play?  Or both?

We'll never know, will we.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


So I've mentioned before that Niblet named her sister.

We had a list we put together of names we could all live with, if not agree upon.  Viking and I were keen on one, Susannah.  My great-grandmother was Suzanne (French), and we thought we had lots of nicknames to play with.

"But she doesn't look like a Susannah," said Niblet in the hospital.  "She looks fun and cool.  I think she looks like a Samantha."

Viking and I looked at each other.  She was a sort of spunky looking baby.

Hmmm.  This wasn't on our list.  I always liked the name and knew some cool girl Sams.  But I also associated it with too many TV shows, especially 80's soap operas (Sammy Jo from Dynasty, Sammy from Days of Our Lives - both favorites of my grandmother Celine - came to mind).

The white board in our hospital room had a blank space where Nutmeg's name should be.  We wrote out Samantha.  "I think it looks sort of clean and aerodynamic," Viking said.

I pulled out my phone and googled the etymology of the name.  In Hebrew it roughly translates to "God Heard."

Her name is Samantha.