Peregrine Arthur Good entered the world in the middle of May, when spring in Michigan was at its finest and the apple blossoms were just beginning to fade. A Macintosh tree grows outside our bedroom windows and I remember the morning after the birth noticing a pair of Baltimore Orioles hopping from flower to flower in its branches.
As those early days of recovery and discovery passed, all nursing and diapers and watching tiny fingers flutter, the petals fell and the fruit began to form. Every time I look out those windows now, my heart feels a little twinge: how CAN time be barreling ahead so quickly? Day by day those branches have grown heavy with apples and my little one has likewise grown big and round.
And here we are already at the end of summer with fruit already turning red and a solid, chubby little baby boy who is most decidedly no longer a newborn.
We landed on the name Peregrine after our usual bookish, roundabout way. All of our children's names have many layers of significance, from family connections and saintly patrons, to the medieval system of the planets and favorite characters in beloved stories. In this case, Peregrine honors the patron saint of cancer (and by proxy a dear friend who has received healing through his intercession), the Lord of the Rings trilogy which the family has enjoyed reading out loud this year, and the general ornithological interest that Zach shares with many of the children.
We were somewhat hesitant to stray from our more traditional naming pattern to go with a rare one. One baby name site we consulted during the process declares that "Peregrine is considered to be an elegantly aristocratic name in England, but has never made it to the U.S., where it has been seen as extravagantly eccentric." Honestly, the idea of being dubbed Extravagantly Eccentric is what sealed the deal for me!
Arthur is another literary/historical nod to the legendary King Arthur. We love his story, all the way from the sword in the stone to his status as once and future king, destined to return someday from...Avalon. It also honors a wonderful gentleman by the name of Arthur Thomas who was something of a grandfather to me during my college years.
Pippin, as the children all call him, has been a delight. One of the unexpected joys of growing a large family has been the way new babies bring out the softer sides of their brothers and sisters. Watching the nurturing instinct emerge in my older boys has warmed my heart and given me a lot of hope for the kind of men they will grow up to be. If I let the baby cry for even a minute when Sam is around, he will swoop in and gather him up, soothing Peregrine with his own perfect combination of pats and bounces. (The ritual is often accompanied by some suggestions that the child's mother could be more attentive--but if I WERE, how would such delightful scenes have a chance to unfold?)
To celebrate Peregrine's birth and baptism, we've named our new line of baby toys in his honor. Check out The Little Pip Collection to find something special for the darling baby in your life :)