A few days ago, March 21, Dawn and I were presented with a gift from the Heavens. Our first-born child, Sarah, and her husband, Matt, bestowed upon us their first-born child. They had a brand-new baby daughter named London Genevieve, and she is a real “keeper.” The term “ripping a hole in the fabric of time” might be a little bit of a stretch to describe her arrival, so instead I will proclaim: Arriving at a very healthy eight pounds, six ounces, and twenty-one inches long, our newest addition to the family is our sixth grandchild. Four girls and two boys. It would stand to reason that I have some general observations, reflections, and/or bragging to do. (As a side-note to my other children and grandchildren – I know that there were grandkids bestowed upon us first that I never wrote about, but little London is the first one that arrived during the existence of this blog. The other five may be a blog for another day.)
Sarah, or “Chili Bean,” as she is affectionately known to me, or “the Baby” by her mother, and her husband, who is the baby in his family, live in Chicago. (Anyone else get the irony of “the Babies” having a baby?) They are easily within stroller distance to Wrigley Field, home of the now World Series Champion Cubs. This then guarantees me that little London will be attending her first Cub’s game this summer, decked in Cubs finery fit for a princess. I would imagine they will stop the game for her arrival. Anyway, this will set her down a path of a life-long love affair with the team her dear old granddad followed his whole life. I am now assured there will be another generation of Cub’s fans in the Webber family. Sweet Jesus, please don’t make her have to wait 59 years to see them win a title like I did!
About the name…London. This was a surprise as none of us even knew the gender of the baby beforehand, much to our old-fashioned delight, so names were not readily discussed either. When we made aware that our new bambino was in fact a little girl, we were then informed her name would be “London.” In the excitement of the moment, and having not worn my hearing aids, I was under the impression I had not heard right. I asked the name again to make sure I heard correctly. I had. London…as in jolly old England. As in the great song from the Cure, London Calling… (I’m gonna have some fun with that as that baby girl gets older because I have little ditties for all of the grandkids! And I swear that song came on my Bose just as I sat down to finish this writing.) But anyway, I had to admit, I had never heard the word London used as a baby’s name.
So, as I am wont to do, I did a little research. Here’s a shocker – the names origin is English? Who’d a thunk it? But get this, in 2015, the latest year of records, there were 2,904 little girls born in the United States named London. There were 3,448 baby girls named London in 2013, and it was the 85th most popular girl’s name that year. At minimum, that is 6,353 little girl wonders running around this country with the name London. So once again, our Chili Bean was out there ahead of us and little London now has a quite lovely and unique, but not altogether, singular appellation. Having said that, I will remind Sarah that we thought we were giving her a unique, albeit old-fashioned name, when we she was born. As I recall, the name Sarah became THE most popular name for girls the following year.
After lunch, we were informed that London’s middle name would be Genevieve. My first thought was to be thankful it wasn’t Bridgette. (Think about that.) My second thought was that it had also been my grandmother’s name. My grandma Gen was the sweetest, most kind-hearted woman to ever walk the face of the Earth. I can say that with authority because I was the “apple of her eye” and she showed it every day. Suffice to say, this boy could do no wrong. I’m not sure if they picked the name to honor my grandmother, or just because they liked it, but it was quite an honor, and even made my mama cry.
So, our newest addition to the family is named London Genevieve Schore. Even though I couldn’t talk Matt into making the last name Webber-Schore, I have to say, I still like it. And I like it more every time I say it. Quite a name. But, so is the name Sarah. And I call her “Chili Bean.” Perhaps “Sweet Pea” will be appropriate for the little tyke.
Little Sweet Pea, I don’t know if I’ll be around to see you grow up, as that is not my decision. I hope to be around long enough to be able to see you play with your cousins and friends, go to school, and maybe even to see you get married someday. But one thing I know for certainty is that you have two of the most loving parents a girl like you could ever ask for and I am so very confident they will take only the best of care of you. If you turn out to be as good as your mom and dad, you will be one fine lady. And my fondest wishes for you are to be healthy, and above all, happy in your life’s pursuits.