Choosing a person's name is a pretty big responsibility and I find it to be one of the great joys and great stresses of having children.
While pregnant I collected names from everywhere – online, in playgrounds, friends and family trees. Iris, as a name hadn't been even considered for either Oscar or Nora, but came into consideration after asking Rodge's Abuela (who Nora was named after) for all of her siblings names: Maria Teresa, Irma Esther, Blanca, Maria del Carmen, Rosa del Alba, Juana Iris, Jose Pedro and Adair. Alba, Esther and Iris made my long-list.
Once my shortlist was finalised Iris sat at the very bottom, scraping through because of the family tie, the beautiful meaning (rainbow or messenger) and the bilingual appeal. I thought she'd be a Margaret (after my own grandmother, whose birthday was only days before hers) or a Fern (a long time favourite name). She could have also been an Adelaide, Eve, Ines, Harriet or June. I had all the names written down and packed into my hospital bag.
Strangely, as a flower lover, I didn't name her for the flower. I named her for the name alone. Slowly, though, the flower, one which I've never really given a sidelong glance to, has been creeping into our lives and I am certain will now be a firm favourite, following our family wherever we go. To my surprise, in amongst our weeds and mess, we happened to have some iris bulbs, which have been dug up and potted, to now be treasured.
Her initial full name was to be Iris Juliet Pearl, but altogether it felt to heavy. Juliet felt too tragic. She needed a lightness in her name, rather than a name most famous for a youthful suicide. So Juliet was scrapped. Pearl, the meaning of Margaret, was kept. This is where her naming became tricky. Iris ? Pearl. Iris ? Pearl. I was snatching at all the names, searching the long list in vain. Artemis, Thea and Iolanthe were dismissed as too Greek alongside the already Greek Iris. Amy (after my sister) too short. Sunday and September too wordy. I found myself scouring this lady's beautiful (albeit no longer written) blog. I said each of the names in this list aloud.
It was while sitting with my older sister discussing her name choices for her to be born baby, that Eulalie was suggested. Iris Eulalie Pearl. I said it aloud. Perfect. I looked up the meaning. Eloquent. What a brilliant name meaning, what more could you want for a child? A well-spoken woman. I loved the idea. I checked the Spanish version. Iris Eulalia Perla. Again perfect. I was completely smitten.
So we have our smiley little girl, with her beautiful, lyrical, eloquent name. Iris Eulalie Pearl.
We call her Irie most days. Oscar also calls her Iwissy or Penguin.
This post was inspired by Jodi - who kept her naming post much, much briefer.
The top photo shows Iris on her birth day, already at home. The bottom photo shows Iris with her Aunty Amy, her cousin Ottilie (in utero) and her namesake flower.