I wanted to share the stories of how each of our girls got 'assigned' a song. The songs I'll be discussing each have extreme significance in our family and bring me to tears when I hear them.
Zoë's Song: When Zoë was a baby, she'd get pretty fussy at night and Rob would rock her/dance with her to get her to go to sleep. Back in those days, we had a CD player (and not these fancy iPod devices) and the CD that was in Zoë's player was the Jackson 5's greatest hits album. He'd play "I'll Be There" to help her go to sleep.
When she was about age 4-5, whenever she heard it, she would quietly cry. At that young age she didn't understand why it made her emotional, but her brain knew that song had a special meaning in her life. Now that she is older, she understands why the song stands out in her mind and why she has a connection to it.
Knowing that this will be the song for the daddy/daughter dance at her wedding, makes me emotional as well. Zoë may not remember that daddy held her in his arms all those many nights, but this song can bring us back to a time in our lives that may have been otherwise forgotten and that is just wonderful.
Jude's Song: Before Rob and I even said the vows at our wedding, we agreed on something that a lot of couples have trouble with: what to name our children. We had both a boy and a girl name picked out and ready to go when needed. Our boy's name was to be Xavier Thomas (which we never got a chance to use) and our precious girl was to be named Zoë Elizabeth.
When I got pregnant after we had Zoë, I was hoping for a boy. I thought "A boy and a girl: the best of both worlds". Another added bonus would be that my sister Jeanna, who already had a daughter 10 months older than Zoë, was pregnant for the second time as well and was one month farther along than I was in my pregnancy. She was having a boy and we thought it'd be terrific to each have little boys practically the same age.
When I found out via sonogram that I was having a girl, I was a little sad. I am ashamed to admit that I shed a tear or two. I had this little fantasy in my head about having a boy named Xavier. Poof! He was gone. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't depressed or anything that I was having a girl, I just had been so darn sure it was a boy and that fact, along with pregnancy hormones, made me emotional for a bit, but it didn't take long to be excited about Zoë having a little sister and us having another beautiful girl.
I was having a girl and along with that came the dilemma of needing to find another girl name. Anyone who truly knows Rob and me, knows that we are planners, and not having a girl name picked out and being pregnant with a girl was a little hiccup in our life paths. One day while discussing girl names, Rob and I were sitting in the car, listening to a Beatles' CD. I bet you can guess what came on: "Hey, Jude". I sat there listening to it and knew instantly that I loved the name "Jude" for a girl, but I didn't say anything for fear that Rob would think it was out of the question. The next thing that came out of Rob's mouth was, "What about Jude?" Yay! I told him I was thinking the same thing. Rob gave me one condition to naming our girl "Jude": we must be able to find the name listed under the girls' names in a name book.
After telling everyone in my family the possible name for our baby girl and stating the condition needed to make it come to fruition, I received a call from my sister Jeanna. She had a couple of name books and found "Jude" under the names for girls. So it was official. Our girl was to be named Jude and she would forever have a song that included her beautiful name in it, not to mention that it is one of the best songs ever written in the entire world. We picked "Anne-Marie" for her middle name, combining my sister Charla's middle name (who is the person you absolutely want to have in the room when you are giving birth. She is truly rock solid!) and my sister Jeanna's middle name (who was pregnant right along with me during the time I was pregnant with Jude and found "Jude" listed under the girls' names in the name book).
We constantly played "Hey, Jude" when Jude was a baby and it would always calm her down. Seriously. Even when we sang it ourselves, despite the fact that we are no Paul McCartneys, she would calm down upon hearing those words. Just like Zoë's song "I'll Be There", Rob will dance with Jude at her wedding to this song. Who could ask for anything more out of life?
Scout's Song: Rob and I always agreed that we would have four children; like I said in Jude's song, we're planners. More than five years ago, back when we lived in Kansas, out of the blue Rob got a fantastic job offer that relocated us to Texas. Within two weeks after Rob officially got the job, we moved down here. Zoë was 2 years old and Jude was about about 11 months. Talk about an unplanned event. We thought we were going to live in our last house at least 20 years. As Jon Bon Jovi says, "Map out your life, but do it in pencil." (Rob, that quote is dedicated to you)
After about a year or so things settled down and we got into the groove of living down in Texas. We started discussing the topic of having another child. Here's the deal, I'm not a good pregnant person. I don't like being pregnant, I had horrible morning sickness, and once you're pregnant, that baby owns your body for nine months (even more if you choose to breastfeed, which I did). I also found being pregnant was mentally stressful. Having lost my first child in miscarriage, the fact that I spotted through each and every one of my subsequent pregnancies caused me constant worry that I was going to lose another baby. Of course I also suffered from all the other miscellaneous natural worries a women has when pregnant. So when I told Rob I wanted this pregnancy to be my last one, it was with a heavy heart. We would only be having three children and not the four we had dreamed of. Rob understood the stress pregnancy put on my body and my brain so we agreed this pregnancy would be our last all the while joking, "Maybe it'll be twins, ha, ha, ha."
I was ten weeks along when we found out we were having twins. So we got our four kids after all! At that point, we had no idea what the sexes of the babies would be, but we knew it was time for "The Name Game". If we had twin boys, we decided the names would be Xavier Thomas (Xavier because we liked it and Thomas for Rob's dad who passed away) and Nova Keith (Nova was my grandpa's first name though he went by his middle name Glen and Keith for my other grandpa). The girls' names were to be Briar Rose and Scout "Hopefully-We'll-Figure-Out-a-Middle-Name-Before-She's-Born". Scout was a name that we had in our back pocket to name our next little girl after we had Jude, but we were having difficulty picking out a middle name for Scout. The spunky little girl from To Kill a Mockingbird is a treasure and it's just too cute to boot.
What middle name would go with Scout? We jokingly said Elizabeth, but that was Zoë's (gosh dang Elizabeth has to be the best middle name in the world, it goes with about anything). I said "Rosanna" which would be a kind of a play on Briar Rose's middle name so their names would sort of match but still be individual enough. Rob nixed that idea saying that it reminded him of Rosanne Barr. Rob then had a fantastic idea. He looked to see what Scout's last name was in the book: Finch. Perfect. I instantly fell in love with "Finch". I love the name "Finch" so much that I actually call her Scout Finch most of the time when I speak to her or of her.
When it came to picking Scout's song, it was an obvious choice: the theme song for the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. When I listen to this song it makes me want to cry because of its innocence and power. Add that to the fact that Scout dances like a ballerina upon hearing it and you're hard pressed to not immediately respond with tears rolling down your cheeks. I can't help but imagine Rob and Scout dancing to this on her wedding day. Please, take time to listen to this song and bask in the glory that man is capable of creating such beauty.
But, maybe it's just me.
Briar's Song: I'd like to start this by stating how it still blows my mind to this day that Scout Finch and Briar Rose were at a point one zygote that then separated into two embryos. What?! I don't think there will be a time in my life where I can fathom that. But, that is what happened. We even had genetic testing done to make sure they were identical; in fact we did it twice because we still couldn't believe it after the first test came back and thought maybe we messed up somehow. I know they looked identical, but so do a lot of fraternal twins. We just wanted to make sure it was true before we told them all their life that they were identical.
These pips were made to order:
-We wanted them to both be girls. I didn't want a boy anymore. By the time I got pregnant with the twins, I was having fun with my girly girls, and I wanted it to stay that way. The thought of having to deal with a new gender on top of having two at once was a bit daunting.
-We wanted them to have blue eyes. Zoë has Aunt Charla's brown eyes. Jude has Uncle Aaron's, Aunt Jeanna's, and my green eyes. We wanted our twins to have Uncle Robert's baby blues.
-I was a redhead as a kid, Rob was a little blondie. We wanted them to have strawberry blond hair.
-We wanted them to be identical. It's just cool.
Let's just say we were shocked when the twins had all these characteristics. It was amazing.
Like I said in Scout's story, we thought Scout was a fantastic name and needed another girl name. One day, I was looking at a "Look-and-Find" book of Disney Princesses with Zoë and Jude. We were on the page for Sleeping Beauty and the little caption read something like, "Briar Rose is dancing with her animal friends in the forest." I didn't remember the princess' name being Briar Rose, I always thought it was Aurora. It had been awhile since I saw the movie. I looked it up and saw that in the Disney movie, to hide her from the wicked fairy, the king and queen had the good fairies live with Aurora in the woods and they called her Briar Rose. In the original Grimm's Fairy Tale, she is actually named Briar Rose as a baby. I knew then and there I loved that name and thought it was so awesome. Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird): We thought it was neat that both their names were tied in with classic literature, but they were both uniquely individual.
Briar Rose's song is so perfect for her. It's "Once Upon a Dream" from the Disney movie "Sleeping Beauty". I just love looking at photos of her while this plays, or even better, watching her dance to it. Her eyes just say every word in this song. She literally is my princess and no one can tell me otherwise. Like with Scout's song, I was relieved that there was an awesome song associated with the story that her name was from.
How cool is it that Zoë has a song so close to her heart, and Jude, Briar, and Scout all have songs that directly connect to their names? With Jude, it was meant to be, but with Briar and Scout it was just sheer luck that there were movies that went along with the stories their names came from. It's funny how the song for each girl matches them and their personality. I always sit back when I listen to these songs and can't help but think of our girls on their wedding days. I hope Rob is ready to take some dance lessons because these girls are getting the best "Daddy-Daughter" dances EVER!