Miles

Why did we choose the name Miles? Well, read my post below for the method behind the madness but there are also personal and sentimental reasons I have thought of – I like things to have meaning – so here it is:

1. Miles is the name of the jazz legend, Miles Davis. Every time we tell people the name of the baby, they say, “Oh, like Miles Davis?” And no, we did not name him after Miles Davis – I am not cool enough to have that kind of connection to Miles Davis. BUT the name does evoke that kind of jazz feel due to that specific namesake and one of my all time favorite books is called Blue Like Jazz – I went and re-read some of the quotes from the book on jazz, here are two that are particularly moving:

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Baghdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.”

I have thought this before about good teachers. One of my professors from college, Dr. Jerry Root, one of the best teachers I know, said it this way once, “To teach is to love something publicly.” I always liked that. My dad is a teacher, a math teacher, and when I was little I would go to “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” Math has never been my forte, but I remember watching my dad get so excited about what he was teaching. I would tease him for being a nerd and would roll my eyes at his endless math jokes (he literally will show you a math equation to “prove” that women are evil). But I do think that my dad’s enthusiasm for numbers rubbed off on me and is why I currently enjoy the parts of my job were I make spreadsheets and get numbers to match. Now, I am not a teacher, in the sense that it is my profession, but the think this applies to parenting, as well. Miles will watch Joe and me throughout the years and whatever we love publicly; we will show him the way to love it as well. Here are some things I have watched somebody love before I have loved it myself: God, snorkeling, drawing, drinking wine, poetry, and yes, even jazz music.

“There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her.”

I seriously think I could write a thousand quotes from this book because I love it so much and I know it is a stretch to tie my unborn son’s name to it just because it has the word Jazz in the title but I don’t even care.

2. Back to the name Miles – and here is another stretch, but stick with me on this one. Pregnant, hormonal woman can find meaning in meatballs and begin to weep. Fact. They also can begin to weep if their husband looks at them funny but that is another story for another day. So, Miles…Well, I read that some people choose their baby name because it has some significance to their story…for example, they name their kid Austin because they met in Austin, TX. Well, a significant part of Joe and my story is that we met and began to fall in love at a distance – he living in Orlando and me in Chicago. Now, believe me, I am well aware of how this can take a sharp left turn and enter corny-ville. And I will get it out on table by saying all the cliche things my brothers would come up with to tease me about this, such as singing the lyrics, “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more just to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door. Da da dum, da da dum, da da dum, da da dum, dum diddlelum diddlelum…” If I lost you, those are the lyrics from “Five Hundred Miles,” by The Proclaimers. You can look it up on itunes.

3. Another reason I like the name Miles – I heard it in high school and have just liked it since then. period. and that’s the real reason I put it on my list, simply because I liked it and had it stored in my mind as a cool name.

4. Miles means “soldier” and “merciful” which is cool.

So that is it for now. You can bet that I will be up one night at 3 am thinking about my baby and coming up with a hundred more reasons to add significance and meaning to his entering the world. good mothers do this or at least pregant, hormonal women do this. cheers!

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