people keep asking me if we've decided on a name for our baby girl yet, or if we're telling people what it is. its funny that even though we've had her name picked out for over 8 years, and even though i didn't hesitate in sharing the boys' names long before they were born, for some reason i don't want to start telling every single soul what we're naming our daughter. i have a feeling it's because over the past 8 years since we first agreed upon it, the name ava has bounded up the "most popular baby name list" from #47 all the way up to number 5 and has remained thereabouts for the past few years.
josh and i were officially dating for only a month or two before we began talking about marriage. my time in england was coming to an end and we both knew that if we parted without a great deal of commitment, our relationship could very well fizzle out. he was 26 and i was 23 at the time and neither of us wanted what we had to fizzle out. i'll never forget sitting next to him in a cozy loveseat, chatting while we were supposed to be studying, and having my breath taken away by him asking me, "would you be willing to move to san diego?" this guy hadn't even told me that he loved me yet and he was already asking me if i was willing to move out of state....no, make that out of country for him! though i was somewhat surprised at his boldness, i surprised myself even more by answering, "yes" without hesitation. (i suppose the idea of sun drenched beaches and palm trees swaying in the breeze probably had something to do with my quick response, but only a little!)
it wasn't long before we had professed our love to one another and were making plans for future visits, meeting each other's families, and talking about spending the rest of our lives together. while playing a game of ping pong in our school's sports hall, we somehow began talking about names for our future children. i remember that he very decisively told me that he wanted to name our first son tristan. which one of us brought up the name ava, i can't quite recall, but i do remember falling in love with that name right then and there. ava sounded graceful and elegant, beautiful and intelligent all at once. we thought that the names ava and britain went well together, fusing a name we both loved with the country that we fell in love with one another in.
since then we've bounced different girl names off of each other and pondered them, most often disagreeing (josh prefers musician inspired names such as dylan and presley, while i tend to swoon over emily and cassandra), but we've always come back to our original girl's name pick: ava britain. today the girl behind the counter who was cutting my keys asked me what i was having and then what name we've picked out. i told her and, sure enough she said, "oh i know so many little baby ava's right now!" which is exactly the kind of response that makes me want to keep her name a secret until she is born. but as i walked out of the store, i was able to shrug my shoulders and just tell myself "so what?" so what if she'll be the 3rd ava in her class at school and always be known as "ava s."? she may be one of many ava's out in the world, but she will be our one and only ava, a girl who is so precious to us that we picked her name out while still in the giddy stages of falling in love.