The year was 1991, and my parents found themselves preparing for the birth of their second child. As most of you know there are many aspects to anticipating the arrival of a new baby, and finding the perfect name was definitely on the list. My parents chose to have the sex of their baby revealed on the day of the delivery, so there had to be an option for both sides of the coin.
The name for their potential baby boy was an easy choice, Elliot Holland. Two names, one from each side of the family. Elliot, from my father, his middle name.
Now there is a special significance to this decision. In 1968, after years of my grandparents hoping for another child, my mother’s new sibling was soon to be born. My mother was thirteen at the time, and my grandparents gave her the reigns when it came to the name for this special baby. She picked out Christopher James for her baby brother, and a tradition was born.*
Back to 1991. The fate of this possible baby girl was in the hands of a SIX YEAR OLD! First on her list was Cherise, the name of her favorite doll. Next came Jillian, after the main character of her favorite book, “The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs”. There was also mention of just Child, but that was not accepted by our parents. So after doing as much toiling as any six year old can do, she came to a final decision.
On September 19th, 1991, little Élise was decked out in her “I’m a big sister shirt,” my father was eating jelly donuts, and my mother was in what I can only assume was the most pain of her lifetime as the Randall family became four. The addition was a baby girl, Jillian Renée. My middle name is also Élise’s and our maternal grandmother's.
It turns out, the specific Jillian Jiggs book my sister had was some what prophetic. The character was a spunky girl with a love of crafting, just like me. The complete meaning of my two given names is girl reborn. I also think this fits. I’ve been through many trials in my short life, with each I have triumphed and grown into what I can only hope is a better person. Giving a name is a powerful thing, and although I did not have the opportunity to choose my own, I am happy with it and it’s story.
*My sister has mentioned plans to continue this tradition with her future first and second born.