Step #198.

Step number 198, of the Platteville M, was sponsored a number of years ago, by my grandparents,
Ed & Hazel Stauffacher. 
Each time we climb the M, we stop to look at their names. The placards all look the same. There is nothing fancy about step 198, but we always pause for a moment, because they are our people. 
The name on the riser, is our name.  

I wasn't always so keen on my name. The hatred, I had for my middle name, as a child, was red hot. Instead of telling people my middle name was Rose, I'd lie and say it was Renee. I was named Julie Rose after my great-grandmother, Ida Rose. I should have loved that name, but it was old-fashioned and girly...everything I didn't want to be while I was growing up. I didn't fully appreciate how special it is to be named after someone people loved and admired.

As I got older, the name and what it represented, started to grow on me.  By the time I met Trevor, I thought it was really cool he was named after his mother's maiden name, Trevorrow, and that his sister, Stephanie, would keep part of her maiden name even after she got married. 

When it came time for us to name our own babies, we were lucky to love traditional names, that are actually pretty popular. We gave them original first names & namesake middle names. Sophia Rose is named after me and her great, great grandmother & Owen Blair was named after my dad, who was named after his uncle Blair. 

My brother, Eric, recently told me that when he and his wife were contemplating baby names they always gave it the 'Grandparent Test' first. They use the name with Grandpa or Grandma to see how great/ridiculous it would sound when some little kid calls them this one day.  I can't even tell you how much I love the idea of a youngster calling little Henry or baby Will, Grandpa Hank & Grandpa Will some day!  

Can you imagine having to call your grandparents, Grandpa Audio Science or Grandma Moon Unit...

I love when new parents, put thought into their children's names.  I get a little annoyed with the celebrity baby name trend or when people try to out "original" everyone with spelling & creativity. Look, just adding "er" to a word doesn't make it a name. Right Jabber?! 

Just because you can spell Jeweleigh like this, doesn't mean you should!

This week is Owen Blair's 10th birthday, and this same week, the original Blair passed away unexpectedly. My heart breaks for his lovely wife, children & grandchildren.  I feel sad for my grandmother, who lost her "baby" brother.  I'm hurting for my dad, who lost his namesake and quick-witted uncle. And selfishly, I mourn for Owen, for not being able to have first hand memories of the man who gave him, and many others in our family, such an awesome name.

"The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name."
Theodore Roosevelt