Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not Clementine

So Roo has an actual name, but I'm not broadcasting it to the internets until after she's born and the name is final, because I am not insane. I've had enough "Clementine is a dumb name," thank you very much--and no, you'll all be glad to know it's not Clementine.

In fact, Roo has about a million names, because that is traditional in my family, although none of them are as bad as Stark or Brenner, for which my sisters are very thankful on Roo's behalf (what were my parents thinking? Clementine doesn't look so bad now, does it?) One of Roo's names is very long, which is also traditional (though not in my family, per se. Just in Hawaii.) My sister Hannah Stark was in charge of picking that long Hawaiian name, a job she took very seriously, and waited until she got it exactly right, despite ribs from my parents about how her "I need inspiration" thing was just an excuse, and why not just use a book? ("Oh, please," said Hannah Stark).

This is what she settled on:


Got that?

It means "laughter from a place of joy and comfort," and beyond that, it means my family.

This is where she got her inspiration: my family likes to play cards. Or Trivial Pursuit. Or croquet. The game itself doesn't really matter. What we like to do is sit all crowded together in one place (there are many of us) and eat nothing more than Triscuits and cheese for hours and hours and do nothing more than laugh. Laugh at my cousin Katie asking for the millionth time in a single hand, "what was trumps again?" Laugh at my Uncle Bob playing a spade when he'd claimed he had no spades two seconds before. Laugh at Auntie Dawn, cutting the deck with one hand and very sweetly pretending she's not very good at cards (this schtick has been kept up for years. Years, I tell you.) Laugh at my grandfather dealing in his very professional, very precise method of five cards for one person, three for another, shuffle a little more, give this guy six cards, and then telling us all to count them just to make sure (it was never right. Ever.) Laugh at my Dad and Auntie Kathy twirling like ballerinas between hands for luck, and making it impossible for mom to see her cards through the tears. Of laughter.

That's Kani'ahemaikahuaomali'o. My sister wanted Roo to be a part of that, though she lives far away, and though she's not even born yet.


Sherri said...

I think Clementine is a cool name! I am all for unique names, why give them a name that you will have a dozen other of in you class ......

Powells said...

Nice to know that you have picked a good name, make sure you register her domain name before you tell anyone.

RooDunton (dot) com does not exist.... hmm


Laura said...

That's just beautiful. I think the only thing your family and mine have in common is the Triscuits. Do you think they'd be willing to adopt me?

P.S. I still like Clementine and will think of her as Clementine no matter what you've chosen. And the great thing is, there's nothing you can do about it. Ha Ha Ha!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my darlin', we'll still love her if you name her Clementine....
Clementine is a pretty, little flower, isn't it? That would surely be a different name but her Hawaiian name will really be unique! And send Laura over. We'll engage her in a lively game of something or other! Auntie Card Shark.