What's in a Name?
Jane tells her kids the origin of their names.
A/N: Okay, this little one shot didn't turn out exactly as I hoped, but I hope you enjoy nonetheless!
Arthur, of course is owned by Marc Brown.
"Mom?" D.W. said one day as she, Arthur and their mom, Jane were in the family room, watching a movie. "Why did you name me Dora Winifred? None of the other kids in my class has two first names. Why wasn't I named Princess Celestia Marabella?"
Arthur, who had been sitting on the floor, glanced at his sister, raising his eyebrow. Princess Celestia Marabella was D.W.'s favorite movie character and lately wanted everyone to her to call her that. From the time D.W. could talk, she often expressed disgust in her full name, never wanting to by Dora nor Winifred. Since she didn't actually have a middle name, her parents decided she would just go by D.W.
Jane just chuckled. "Your dad and I decided to name you and Arthur and Kate after people we knew, dear. Why do you ask?"
"Well, at school, I'm the only one with two first names. And Carrie told me that Dora and Winifred sounded like old woman names" D.W. said sadly.
"Kids used to say my name sounded like a grandpa type name" Arthur spoke up, looking at his mom and sister.
"Well, kids, your names hold very special meaning to me" Jane said as she put her arm around D.W. and extended her free hand to Arthur. He grabbed it and sat on the other side of her. She put his arm her son and sighed as they stared off into nothingness.
"With you, Arthur, I had gone into labor on a Friday night. Our car wouldn't start, so Grandma Thora went to call a taxi, however, I was in a lot of pain, so your dad called an ambulance and lo and behold, they arrived first. You were in a big hurry to be born so the paramedics, Emily and Timothy had no choice, but to deliver you. Timothy was so nice and caring to be, I decided that should be your middle name. Your first name is my grandfather's name, who died a few months before you were born. I would spend my summer vacations on his farm…"
"Grandpa Dave's farm?" D.W. asked excitedly. Arthur and D.W. loved going there, especially now that the hen house was finished.
"The very same. I loved it there. When he died, my dad, of course inherited it. It was my home away from home." Jane's voice cracked a little.
"Wow" Arthur whispered. He really enjoyed his name story. Arthur didn't sound so…old anymore. His name, he felt, actually had meaning. He was proud to be named after his great grandfather.
"What about me?" inquired D.W. "Why do I have two names?"
"Well, sweetie, you are named after your late aunt and grandmother. The day of my college graduation from Northwestern State, your aunt and my mom were making the almost one day journey by car because my mom hated flying. An hour before they were supposed to arrive, their car was hit by a truck…and they were killed instantly" Jane stopped, and wiped her tears. It had been nearly twelve years since the accident and the pain of losing her sister and mom were still there. She quickly regained her composure and continued.
"Dora, my sister, Lucy and I were best friends, since Jessica and Fred were older and already living on their own. Dora was actually getting ready to attend Northwestern State herself. She had just graduated high school and was very excited to start college. Winifred, my mom, and I were also best friends. I could talk to her about anything. She helped put me through college by tailoring clothing. When I found out you were a girl D.W., I decided to honor them by combing their names as your first name; Dora and Winifred."
"That's really neat" D.W. said, smiling. She too, liked being named after someone in the family. It made her feel special to honor the aunt and grandmother she never met just as Arthur was honoring their late great grandfather. It gave her a new reason to like her name. In fact, only recently, Emily said it sounded fancy and movie starrish.
"What about Kate? Who is she named after?" Arthur asked after a pause. Baby Kate, whose real name is Kaitlin, sounded more current.
"Kate is named after the woman who got me interested in accounting. She was the mother of a farm hand who used to work on the farm when I was growing up. One day, my parents had to go to town and she left Kaitlin in charge to mind myself and my brother and sisters. We decided to play office and I was the accountant. We had fun that afternoon while my parents were away. Math had always been my favorite subject and playing office made my love of numbers grow. Before I went to college, she gave me her adding machine and her accounting notes. I will never forget her."
Arthur and D.W. had wide smiles on their faces. Now that they had a better understanding of the origin of their names, they had a better appreciation of it. In fact, it felt great to be named someone special their mom once knew as Binky felt important being named after his great grandfather, Shelley. Even though D.W. still hated to be referred to as Dora Winifred, she knew the names were special to her mom and her aunts and uncles. Like Binky, she too hoped someday she would go by her actual name.