Sometimes amazing things happen to remind us that we really don’t understand the machinations of our world. I often think of the line to Josh Groban’s song “To Where You Are” that says:
Isn’t faith believing all powers can’t be seen?
Yesterday my almost-five-year-old (countdown to the big day–seven sleeps!) and I attended a baby shower for her preschool teacher.
One of the games involved each of the kids suggesting what Ms. Lindsay should name her baby boy.
The children mainly chose names of male classmates or dads or brothers. A few provided gigglers–Star, Sunshine, Happy Feet. One future class clown offered up “Poo.”
Elizabeth’s turn arrived. She seemed confused about this, and the teacher asked her if she needed more time. She shook her head, stood up, and said, “Matthew.”
My heart seized. She knew no Matthews. No cousins or classmates or friends. The only time she could have heard the name in her brief existence would be in Sunday School, where it would compete with the likes of Mark, Luke, and John.
But Matthew is a very important name to us. When we were told Emily was a boy at her sonogram, we chose Ryan Matthew as her name. Naturally she became Emily later when the high risk doctor told us–that’s an odd name for a girl!
When we got pregnant with Elizabeth, we decided we still liked Ryan Matthew but would prefer it flipped. So we called the baby Matthew early on when we referred to her in the womb, until her sonogram revealed she was also a girl.
But of course, Elizabeth was a twin. Her little sibling died and my water broke when I was only ten weeks pregnant. Elizabeth survived, although we had a week or two of uncertainty that the pregnancy would pull through.
We’ve named her twin Emma Hope, but after this baby shower, maybe we were wrong. Perhaps Elizabeth knows more than we do, and maybe, just maybe, some little presence whispered in her ear that morning, and for the first time, without even knowing it, she uttered a name she’d never before heard–her brother’s.