Friday, June 10, 2011

my swan





















i am always asked the origin of my daughter's name. her name is elodie (el-o-dee) which even a close friend mispronounces and i haven't the heart to correct after this much time has passed. if we were in france it would be élodie (pronounced ay-lo-dee with a hearty emphasis on the dee). she is named after my great-grandmother on my father's side. she was a tall, pretty german woman and i always carry a picture of her in my head on a boat in a lake holding a fishing pole. i might have made this up but i don't think so.

her middle name is swan. we knew her middle name before we knew her first name. she is named after the story of the ugly duckling. in my imagination she was this little creature in my belly that was growing and would unfold into a baby, fresh and new. free of labels. and the baby would grow, day by day, into a woman. along the way, she might have some awkward steps and be humbled. year by year she would gather labels. beautiful. smart. pretty. fat. skinny. lazy. whatever. some would stay, some would fade away. none would matter because praise or disparagement is temporary. the only truth would be what she decided to call herself. a swan is both an ugly duckling and a beautiful creature. every person should have the opportunity to be both, to learn from both which in turn contributes to growing into a more beautiful, imperfect human being. inside and out.

image: fieldguided's 'swan boat'

11 comments:

  1. I love that story. That's how I think of Iris. Every day I remind myself that she is her own little person, that she'll make decisions that turn her into a beautiful big person. I love giving her freedom to question, grow, learn, explore--it's amazing to watch it unfold, and I can only assume that will get better. I can't wait to see who she becomes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. so beautiful. i was wondering how her name was pronounced.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so beautiful! thank you for sharing. love reading stories like this. i have some family origin names too, and people are forever asking. so sweet! have a great weekend. xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. ohmygosh, how gorgeous! also thanks for the sweet post yesterday :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I also have a daughter named Elodie. I lived in France for several years, and I loved the name.

    ReplyDelete
  6. this is why i love your blog so much.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Elizabeth. I was just browsing through the other Mama's in the styleathon and I saw this post. My little one is named Elodie, as well. I think I will spend the rest of my life correcting the pronunciation of it. I had a name that no one could ever pronounce growing up (and now, still) and I said I would never do the same to my children - but Elodie was so beautiful that it stuck with me until the day I found out we were having a girl.
    Your E is precious.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It drives me insane when names are mispronounced. but elodie? I can't imagine mispronouncing that! maybe we europeans find names like that easier? I have an Irish name (because I'm irish...not because i'm an american claiming to be so :P ) and on any of my trips to the states no one can get the hang of Clíodhna (Clee-oh-nah), I usually just call myself Clio.
    Elodie is beautiful name, and a beautiful girl.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful Liz. Just beautiful. She is so lucky to have you for her mama.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful name. I especially love the story behind her name. Names are important and should mean something. Thank you for that explanation because it made my heart smile. You and your daughter are both beautiful on the inside and out.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. while my own little has a different name, I may just have to tell her that story about labels. just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete