I don’t know who decided this would be “Ralph’s Favorite Stories” week here at Snoodlings. I guess I did, since I write the blog. (Anyone else hear Barry Manilow right there? Just a quick verse of “I Write the Blogs That Make the Whole World Sing”? Or as a result of a couple of posts last week maybe that should be “The Blogs That Make the Whole World Sick.”) To be honest, my brain hurts. I don’t mean that I have a headache, I mean that my brain is just a little irritable this week and seems to be rebelling against making thoughts of any real import. So I’m just telling Ralph’s favorite stories instead. Here goes:
When we found out we were having twins we were very surprised. You see, I’d just spent over three months convincing myself that I was NOT having twins. I knew something was different about that pregnancy from the very beginning. I asked all my friends who had multiples what their pregnancy was like. I googled symptoms. I was convinced that I had more than one baby in there. But everyone I talked to convinced me that I was having a girl, not more than one baby. And the nurse practitioner only heard one set of heartbeats, so I also became sure that I was only having one baby. So sure, in fact, that even several years after they were born, whenever anyone said something about me being the mother of twins, I felt surprised all over again. I still have “Good grief! I have twins!” moments from time to time, six years later.
After the initial surprise, we realized that we now had to have two names ready instead of just one. We knew that we didn’t want “twinny” sounding names like Fred and Ted or Millie and Molly. We did want their names to have significance and to be connected in some way but without the rhyming or too much alliteration. Which is weird because we both grew up Baptist and Baptists are generally known for their love of all things alliterative. I’ll blame it on the fact that we weren’t attending a Baptist church at the time.
We didn’t know the gender of the babies initially so we tried to think of combinations of boy names, girl names, and boy and girl names. If the babies were boys we considered naming them after our fathers. What a tribute, right? Sounds great until you realize that my dad’s name was Jerry and my husband’s name was Benjamin. We thought asking our boys to go through life as Ben and Jerry would be too much to ask. Plus, I was afraid that I would constantly be craving Cherry Garcia and would never be able to lose my baby weight. (I’m a suggestible eater.)
We were almost relieved when the ultrasound revealed that we were going to have a boy and a girl so we could put our ice cream names aside. On the way home from one of our appointments I asked our oldest, who was two years old, what he thought we should name our babies. We were trying to help him understand the big brother role he would soon have and wanted to involve him in as much of the changes our family was experiencing as we could. He thought about it for a minute and said with great certainty that he thought we should name his little brother “Jesus” and his little sister “Bubbles.”
That night at drama practice I told my friends that my son had decided to name his siblings after the Messiah and a stripper. They thought the names were hilarious and for the rest of my pregnancy, that’s what they called the little people growing in my stomach. My friend Alex still calls them Bubbles and Jesus and I guess she always will.
I’m not sure why this is one of Ralph’s favorite stories. It doesn’t even really have an ending. Maybe you all should hope my brain feels better very soon. Who knows what Ralph will want to hear next. Ralph, any more requests?