When we were headed to the hospital for her birth, I remember that we were still unsure of a name. “Ava” was a top first name and “Summer” was working well as a middle. The problem, because I am a 12-year-old boy deep down, was those initials. “A.S.S”. Would that be fodder for schoolyard bullying? Would she resent us her whole life because of this oversite?
Autumn was in the running as well… But Linda made it very clear she could not pronounce the word!
I recall we were on our way to the hospital when I had the spark of thought to call my Grandmother Marie. Thankfully she answered (Like everyone, she had a landline in those days attached to her answering machine)(Actually, she may have had that same setup currently) and fielded our question. Out of curious desperation, we asked “What was Grandma Giancarli’s middle name?”
“Emelia” was her response. Not “Amelia” she was quick to point out. Actually, she repeated this several times to make sure we didn’t screw it up. Angela and I both looked at each other and nodded in mutual agreement that this might work.
Ava Emelia didn’t roll off the tongue very well…. But Summer Emelia had a nice ring to it. We continued our drive to the hospital and the rest is history.
The name Summer (for me) embodied a sense of freedom, optimism, and frivolity that I hoped our daughter would exude. it’s a fun name and I thought she would fit right in with our “vibe”. We are not hippies… well, if we are, it’s a very 70’s Fairbury version. We had moved into our house on Christmas Tree Road (Green Valley) and there was a wild sense of a “little house on the prairie” now that we were living outside of town.
Over the last few months, I have been thinking of legacy and names. I have a whole post in my mind about lost family members in each of the generations. (Not lost…. Like off the trail…. But those that have passed before their rightful time) My Dad and “baby” Sylvia in particular.
My hope, through her morass of medical trauma and the grace with which she traversed it, is that the name Summer has some boost in the rankings of tough-guy names. Sal, Vinny and Tony all need to move down a notch.
Those who know this Summer will know the toughness and fortitude that come in a package with the name.
Summer is a badass.
Summer has an iron will.
A warrior named Summer should cause trepidation in any foe because they know they are in for a fight.
Summer, along with flippant youthful joy, now means courage, bravery, tenacity, and a profound toughness that you would expect from one of the four seasons. Arguably the best season.
I will never have another kid… but if we could, I would use the name Summer again. It’s the name of a rockstar and it’s a name that holds no boundaries.